Investigation launched after woman gives birth outside Tshwane clinic gates

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Hospital ward. (Duncan Alfreds, News24, file)
Hospital ward. (Duncan Alfreds, News24, file)

Gauteng health officials are investigating the treatment of a woman who went into labour outside Stanza Bopape Community Health Centre after she was apparently turned away over the weekend.

The health department said Tshwane Health District chief director Mothomone Pitsi found out on Monday that a patient had given birth at the clinic gates.

He rushed there to speak to her and find out what had happened.

The patient alleged she was not examined and was told to go to Mamelodi Hospital. But, on her way, when she was just outside the health centre, she realised that she would not make it to the hospital.

She gave birth at the gate while trying to walk back into the facility.

According to African News Agency, the clinic's nurses told the patient that because she was in her 50s, they couldn't help and she had to go to the hospital.

She reportedly screamed for help as she went into labour outside, but the nurses didn't help her.

Pitsi said he was saddened by the "unfortunate incident".

"It is unacceptable that the patient was not examined and left to go in her condition. Even in circumstances where patients are identified as high risk and require care at the higher level facilities - they are not just sent away," he said.

The department noted that the patient had received antenatal care at the clinic during her pregnancy and was advised of where she should give birth.

Pitsi apologised to the woman, her family and the public.

He said a team of quality assurance and labour relations officials were investigating the matter and were expected to report back with recommendations, possibly within a month.

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