SA's government hospitals: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly


Last week we posted an article called “Giving birth at a government hospital: what to expect” to our Facebook Page and we got such a big response. Most moms had surprisingly good experiences but not all of them were great. Have a read below to see what our readers experiences of government hospitals were.

The Good

Priscilla T. Mashego - I gave birth at Letaba hospital in Tzaneen and again at Giyani hospital and both times beat the experience I received at ARWYP private hospital when I was sick. So I vote maternity wards in public in these two hospitals in Limpopo any day.

Megan Kelly Botha - I gave birth at Uitenhage Provincial Hospital and a few days later had to go to a private hospital to visit a friend. The service that I received was impeccable; the nurses were considerate, helpful and caring. I had to have an induction due to hypertension in the last week and half. I had never been in a hospital, but the nurses held my hand and spoke me through the entire process. My husband was always welcomed with a smiling face and when it came time to push, I ended up having 3 doctors with me in the room. When compared to the experience I had seen of my friend at private care, I'd pick government again!

Sandy Yalitho Kwadeba - I gave birth to my son at Charlotte Maxete hospital. I was impressed by the service I got, the nurses were friendly.

Ayanda Mthimkhulu - I read this post as well as the comments days before giving birth last year, I was so scared because I was booked at a government clinic. To my surprise the sisters at J Dumani clinic were so friendly, the entire birth experience was positive all because of them, everything went accordingly no complications whatsoever, not one of the sisters shouted at me or anything like that. I’d be happy to go back there again should I have another baby.

Lerato Malela - Pretoria West hospital was excellent when I gave birth there 9 years ago. I hope the standard has not gone down since then.

Sindiswa Mani - I gave birth to my first born son in a government hospital and I felt like I was in a private hospital the staff was very helpful.

Anika Huemer - I gave birth to my son at False Bay hospital four years ago and I had a lovely experience. It was clean, staff  were friendly. I felt cared for and relaxed. The doctor was helpful and efficient.

The Bad

Faldielah Miah - I had a very bad experience with the birth of my first child and almost died as the medical staff was not willing to listen to me. I am pregnant again and am at the same hospital and only my belief in the Almighty is helping me through. I have to believe there is good out there or i will go crazy with fear.

Sono Liton - I have 4 kids and in my experience government hospital staff are rude. At one maternity hospital I gave birth there was only one toilet for everybody to use and no showers. There was a shower for nursing staff though. And when one of the patients who just gave birth used it she got the scolding of her life.

Landiwe Claudia Mngomezulu - Gave birth in a government hospital, Mamelodi hospital and the service was bullsh#t, most of the nurses are rude. Never will I give birth in a public hospital if it happens I have another child.

Yolandi Hahndiek - I’ve seen public hospitals, it’s sad there aren't even beds for the patients.

The Ugly

Masego Tone - After the horrible experience with a rude nurse, I am never having another kid unless I can afford private. Other than that, no thanks! I almost died with the umbilical cord left inside me on purpose. No remorse, nothing just a bitter nurse telling me all the horrible things.

Annamarie Zeelie - I caught my first born on bathroom floor in Vereeniging government hospital in 2003. No doctors, nurses very rude. Now I have medical aid, thank God!

Landi Lubbe - I gave natural birth to 3 of my children. I wanted the 4th one to be a natural birth too, but the nurse at the hospital said the baby was under stress, that's why they gave me a C-section. The nurse is not the problem; it’s the people at the operating table that made a botch-up of the C-section. I remember laying there, seeing my blood come past me in tubes, while I hear the doctor saying to the other ones how tired he is after the party last night! Tired? Yet they operate on someone! And after my C-section wounds (there were 3 huge cuts) got septic, they didn't know what to do. My baby was left far from me, in another room, in an incubator. He was not even tiny. He was put under a blue light with no protection over his eyes and the night-shift were sleeping. I was in a 2 week daze. I don't remember all of it. I just remember being moved to a ward where men and women share! I was so scared. I couldn't move to cover myself and men would walk past and gawk at me! I had to wear a sanity-pad on my stomach to stop the brown, smelly stuff from soiling the bedding. It was a nightmare!

Tell us your experiences giving birth at a government hospital, send us an email to with your stories.

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