Limpopo family plans to sue Health Department after losing daughter

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The family of a 34-year-old woman who died with her stillborn baby on the first of December at the Lebowakgomo Hospital outside Polokwane, plans to lodge a case of medical negligence against the Limpopo Department of Health.

The family says Florence Mphahlele died 16 hours after being admitted at the hospital.

They say she was not attended to the entire time she was at the hospital.

The department is one of several flagged in the latest Auditor General’s report for spending millions of rands on settling medical negligence cases.

Florence’s brother, Jimmy Mphahlele, says they have sought legal advice and will be filing a case of medical negligence.

“It is obvious to say nothing was done in order to help my sister. So, as a family we are deciding to take  this matter forward, to sue the hospital because we understand that nothing was done to help my sister – actually they just killed my sister. Even up to this far, we have never received a call from the hospital trying to sympathise with us, trying to ask us how did we bury my sister.”

Meanwhile, Limpopo Health department spokesperson, Neil Shikwambana, says they have launched an investigation into the deaths.

He says, “We take extremely serious cases of maternal death, when they happen anywhere in our facilities  – the first thing that happens is that they get reported directly to the MEC’s office. This is the only death that gets reported at that level because we do not let any case of maternal death pass by just like that.”

“The MEC immediately forms a team of experts and these are independent people who do not even work in the department – experts in gynaecology and obstetrics to do a thorough investigation and produce results which will be unbiased.”

In the video below, SABC reporter Pimani Baloyi has more details on the story: