Seven Pta hospitals accused of neglecting patients

Steve Biko Academic Hospital. Photo: Ron Sibiya

Seven Pretoria state hospitals stand accused of having been negligent in the past two years.

DA MPL Jack Bloom said this information had been revealed by Gauteng Health MEC Gwen Ramokgopa.

According to Bloom, the MEC said more than 20 000 patients in the province had suffered because of negligence in state hospitals the past two-and-a-half years.

She was replying to questions by Bloom on Serious Adverse Events (SAEs) in state hospitals.

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SAEs are events that result in unintended harm to patients by an act of commission or omission – rather than by their underlying disease.

The MEC said Steve Biko hospital had the highest number of such cases in Pretoria, with 1‚789 reported.

The Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital was reported as the most dangerous hospital for patients in Gauteng, with 4320 recorded SAEs over this period.

Seven Pretoria hospitals were mentioned, including Steve Biko, George Mukhari, Mamelodi, Kalafong, Tshwane District, Pretoria West, and Odi hospitals.

Steve Biko Academic Hospital denied the allegation of negligence this week.

“Serious adverse events do not translate directly to negligence. SAEs are about the unintended outcome and are in the main not due to negligence,” it said.

“They range from patients absconding from the hospital, patients that report the hospital to the media even if the report is false, patients having an allergic reaction to treatment and negligence.”

The higher the number of SAEs, the more staff had to be applauded in the sense that they did report shortcomings to enable interventions, the hospital said.

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In her response to Bloom, Ramokgopa said the SAEs included “allegations of negligence, the incompetence of staff members, human errors, abscondment of patients and system failure”.

Acting CEO of Steve Biko hospital Dr. Mathabo Mathebula said none of the SAEs mentioned by the MEC was due to negligence.

Mathebula said human error in any activity happened as a matter of course.

It did not necessarily mean incompetence or negligence on the part of the staff.

Ramokgopa said action taken in view of the high number of SAEs would include disciplinary hearings, referral to the police, and referrals to the Health Professions Council and the SA Nursing Council.

Measures in a bid to minimise SAEs would also be introduced.

ALSO READ: Steve Biko hospital denies not paying doctors

Do you have more information about the story? Please send us an email to [email protected] or phone us on 083 625 4114.

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  AUTHOR
Eliot Mahlase

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