The family of a gravely ill man who needs treatment for Extreme Drug Resistant (XDR) TB, is accusing the Robert Sobukwe Hospital in Kimberley of negligence.

The family says the hospital allegedly denied him medical care.

The 33-year-old man from Danielskuil in the Northern Cape alleges that he was denied a bed at the hospital and was made to sleep on a chair to create space for other patients. He further alleges that this happened even though a doctor that examined him ordered that he must be hospitalised for a week.

Motlhale says he had to sleep on a chair in the hospital the whole night.

“They told me they are going to keep me for a week for my condition. They then put a letter on my head and told me I’m discharged. I was too weak, I could not even walk, so I lied on a chair, a steel chair for the whole night. I feel very bad because I almost died if my brother didn’t come quickly when he heard that I’m here, I was going to die,” says Motlhale.

The Motlhale family is worried about Obed’s deteriorating health. They believe that the health department has violated his right to receive healthcare. His brother, Tsholofelo Motlhale, says when he left his brother in hospital he had hoped that he would get the medical care he needs.

“There were other health issues that we raised with the doctor and due to that he said we will keep him here. So I left the hospital under the impression that my brother will be staying there for a week to two and I was disappointed to get a call that he has been discharged in the middle of the night without even contacting us.”

The family has lodged a formal complaint against the hospital. The Provincial Department of health says it is investigating the incident. The department’s spokesperson Lebogang Majaha says:

“We have apologised outright on the manner in which the patient might have been ill-treated during the short stay at the facility and also just to elaborate more to say that the details of the incident are still sketchy, our clinical complaints committee is busy with the investigations and they’ve promised to say by next week, they should wrap up and be able to give a preliminary report to the family.”

While the Department of Health is investigating the matter – Obed will have to stay at home.

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