EDITORIAL NOTE: A previous copy of this story inaccurately stated that The Free State Health Department says it’s disappointed to be associated by allegations of mistreatment by one of its employees after a 37-year-old woman who lost her 11-month-old infant allegedly while waiting in a queue for hours at the Marantha clinic in Winnie Mandela. SABC News has learned that the Department is dismayed by the mistreatment of the patient. We have corrected our copy accordingly.
The Free State Health Department says it’s dismayed by the mistreatment of a 37-year-old woman who lost her 11-month-old infant allegedly while waiting in a queue for hours at the Marantha clinic in Winnie Mandela.
The mother claims the nurse who was on duty blamed her for her daughter’s death while physically assaulting her.
Provincial health department spokesperson Mondli Mvambi says they will investigate the incident.
“We are investigating the matter in full, because we have to get all the facts, from the complainant, who is the mother of the child, any other witness who have been around, in the vicinity of the occurrence of the incident, as well as the full statement from our health practitioners, including the alleged perpetrator of this ill-treatment of the patient.”
Meanwhile, staff shortage remains a crucial issue across various health facilities in the Free State. The staff shortage issue was raised in a report on the state of the healthcare systems by Ritshidze Project, a community-led monitoring programme.
Patients who receive chronic medication have also raised concerns about the issue of identity protection in healthcare facilities.
Access to healthcare remains a nightmare for Free State residents, poor infrastructure and a shortage of staff is hindering service delivery. Those who take chronic medication feel violated when they fetch their medication,
they say their bad experiences have left them vulnerable.
One woman who did not want to be mentioned said, ”I took my child to the clinic, I was assisted after a long time and my child was in my hands.”
The Ritshidze Project is implemented by organisations representing people living with HIV-including the Treatment Action Campaign and others. Its mandate is to make sure that challenges in the healthcare sector are addressed.
Free State Department of Health says it is in the process of implementing a system, which will allow patients to schedule appointments before going to a public healthcare facility. The process will improve capturing and shortening the waiting period.
The Health Department says it is prioritising the filling up of critical posts.
SAHRC visits healthcare facilities in the Free State: