I am horrified at the report that a pregnant woman was not served food for three days when she was put in isolation at the Bheki Mlangeni Hospital as a suspected Covid-19 case.
Soweto resident Kgomotso Hlatshwayo was admitted to the hospital on 22 April for dizziness and fatigue due to pregnancy. She was moved to an isolation ward on 28 April after displaying some symptoms similar to those for COVID-19, but did not get food for three days as staff refused to have contact with her. Her distressed family was refused permission to bring her food during this period.
Hlatshwayo has since tested negative for Covid-19 and wants to sue the hospital for maltreatment.
This case highlights the need for clear protocols for the handling of suspected Covid-19 patients in a humane and professional manner. The rights of patients need to be respected along with strict measures to prevent the spread of the infection in hospitals.
Hlatshwayo’s ordeal is yet another example of poor management at the Bheki Mlangeni Hospital which has failed to improve despite many promises by the Gauteng Health Department. I have long called for the removal of the hospital CEO Ruth Mabyana who should now be replaced by a capable person who can meet the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.