Health MEC calls for probe into Durban hospital after patient found with maggots in his mouth

2019-07-04 21:58
A Durban man cleans maggots out of his father's mouth after hospital staff refused to help. (Supplied)

A Durban man cleans maggots out of his father's mouth after hospital staff refused to help. (Supplied)

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KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu has called for an urgent investigation into the death of a RK Khan Hospital patient who was found with maggots in his mouth. 

Simelane-Zulu wanted the health department to establish the circumstances surrounding the patient's death and take stringent disciplinary action should any individuals be found guilty of wrongdoing, the department said in a statement on Thursday. 

The 52-year-old patient, identified as Sadick Ebrahim, died in the hospital on Tuesday after he had been admitted on June 19. 

Ebrahim was suffering from ailments that may not be divulged due to the National Health Act.

The act prohibited the public discussion of confidential clinical information, including how a patient was managed within a healthcare facility, the department said.

"We are quite shocked by the state of the patient [when the video was taken] before his demise. We really don't understand how things could have gotten to this level. We are going to conduct a thorough and proper investigation to understand what led to this," Simelane-Zulu said. 

ALSO READ: Family left fuming as maggots found in mouth of Durban hospital patient

The MEC further expressed concern at the manner in which the patient had died. 

"While we understand that our hospitals are understaffed, and we have a lot of patients that we must look after, we do not believe that it makes sense that a patient would be in our care for so long and yet when he left this world, he leaves in this particular fashion. 

"The reality of it is that it means, while he was under our care, and he had the challenges that he did, he also had the added discomfort of having to deal with the situation that he was faced with. I have asked the acting head of department that we should do a thorough investigation."

Simelane-Zulu further urged healthcare professionals in hospitals across the province to take the responsibility they were entrusted with seriously, despite the challenges.

"While we understand that you are under pressure and have a lot of work, once a patient is with you, make sure you do a thorough assessment.

"You must treat that patient as you would treat your own family member because that's the commitment that we made as professionals," she concluded. 

Read more on:    durban  |  health

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