Woman gives birth without help at hospital, and sues

A Pretoria woman is suing the state after giving birth, allegedly without the assistance of nurses, at Sebokeng hospital in the Vaal Triangle, law firm CP van Zyl Attorneys said.

Reservations clerk, Bridget Moleboheng, claims she was forced to lie in her own blood for six hours and was refused assistance by nurses.

"The nurses kept screaming at me that I should keep quiet. At this point the baby was being born and still I was being ignored," she said in a statement, issued by the law firm.

"While I was in agony and scared to push on my own, the nurses left the ward then went to sit in the corridor and continued chatting and laughing."

Not allowed to breastfeed

After giving birth, Moleboheng claims she was not allowed to hold or breastfeed her baby boy.

Gauteng health department spokesman, Simon Zwane, said it was the first he had heard of the case. "Every citizen has a right to recourse in court if they feel they have not been treated appropriately. We will await the papers from the lawyers and once all the facts have been accessed, we will decide whether to defend the matter."

The incident is "one of many"

The law firm's consultant Sunelle van Heerden said Moleboheng was suing the state for "substantial damages sustained".

In the statement, Van Heerden said the incident was an everyday occurrence at certain state hospitals, and the only way to change it was through legal means.

"It is clear that government lacks the will to change the horrendous conditions in state hospitals, and ultimately it is left to the public to seek legal advice."

(Sapa, July 2011)

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