KwaZulu-Natal health dept to probe claims that woman was discharged from hospital with open wounds

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KZN Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu says she is disturbed by a video of a patient who was discharged from hospital with open wounds.
KZN Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu says she is disturbed by a video of a patient who was discharged from hospital with open wounds.
Darren Stewart, Gallo Images
  • An investigation will be conducted after allegations that a KwaZulu-Natal patient was discharged while she had open wounds.
  • The patient was treated at Prince Mshiyeni Memorial Hospital.
  • The health MEC said she was disturbed by the video.

KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane has ordered an investigation into claims that a woman was discharged from Prince Mshiyeni Memorial Hospital even though she had open wounds.

The provincial health department received a copy of a video of the woman on Wednesday night.

"In the video, the patient's daughter can be heard narrating the patient's ordeal, including allegations that her mother was assaulted and insulted by healthcare workers during her time at the hospital," the MEC said.

READ | 'Don't call us heroes' - healthcare workers overwhelmed by Covid-19 want help, not praise

Within 30 minutes of receipt of the video, an ambulance was dispatched to fetch the woman from her home in Umlazi, Simelane added.

"I am severely disturbed by this video, and have instructed the head of department to see to it that an urgent investigation is instituted. The investigation must interrogate, among other things, whether the patient was clinically managed properly and whether she should have been discharged in her state," said Simelane.

"It must also establish whether she can identify the people who allegedly assaulted and insulted her. Obviously, our immediate goal at the moment is that she urgently receives the medical care that she requires, so that she can hopefully recover. So, we are glad that she's been brought back into our care. But we need to see whether there has been any wrongdoing on anyone's part, so that the necessary sanctions and corrective action can be taken."

The matter is "being dealt with as a priority", Simelane added.

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