Limpopo health department, already facing R4.3bn in medical negligence claims, hit with another accusation

2019-05-30 06:05
(File, iStock)

(File, iStock)

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Limpopo's health department, already facing a staggering R4.3 billion in medical negligence claims, is now having to investigate a claim that a newborn's arm had been broken at birth at one of its hospitals.

The parents have accused the medical staff at St. Rita's Hospital of breaking their baby's hand at birth.

Bongani Mdluli said his wife was admitted to hospital on April 16, and gave birth via caesarean section on April 20. He said his wife felt the birth was not going well, but was assured by medical staff that the baby was fine.

"She was discharged from the hospital. But the baby just could not stop crying and after a few days, my wife noticed a swelling on the hand. She took the baby back to the hospital where it was confirmed through X-ray that the baby has a broken hand."

He said he later visited the hospital and met with the doctor who delivered the baby.

Negligence claims increase from 179 to 831

The doctor confirmed to him that the baby’s hand was broken at birth, he said.

However, health department spokesperson Neil Shikwambana earlier suggested that the baby did not sustain the injury during birth at the hospital.

He said the injury might have happened at home.

Shikwambana said authorities were investigating the matter.

The incident comes at a time when Health MEC Phophi Ramathuba is battling to reduce the number of medical negligence claims, which have increased from 179 to 831 in the past two years and stands at R4.3 billion.

In her earlier appearance before the legislature's standing committee, Ramathuba attributed the staggering claims to the attitude of the staff and the lack of quality healthcare being provided, among others.

She said: "The most effective way of reducing the number of claims is to offer quality healthcare. We must deal with the attitude of our staff… and make sure that everybody sees health as an emergency".

Read more on:    polokwane  |  health  |  service delivery

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