The Limpopo Department of Health has initiated an investigation into “a distressing incident” where a patient passed away at the entrance of Northam Clinic in the Waterberg District, after he was denied entry at the health facility.
The patient was bleeding “in all his body orifices” when he was rushed to Northam Clinic at around 3am on Saturday, said provincial health spokesperson Derick Kganyago.
“According to the preliminary reports, it is alleged that a family brought a critically-ill male patient around 3am who was bleeding in all his body orifices as an emergency,” Kganyago said.
“Instead of allowing them access, security guards informed them that due to load shedding, they will not open for them but rather opted to give them contact numbers for emergency medical services. It is unfortunate that by the time the ambulance arrived, the patient had already demised.”
He said nurses who were on duty inside the clinic were only informed after the patient had died.
Meanwhile, Limpopo MEC for Health, Dr Phophi Ramathuba said while the full report on the incident was awaited, security guards at health facilities should stay in their lane.
“While we are still waiting for the full report on what transpired, we are hurt, saddened, and equally angered by the allegations. Denying access to healthcare services contradicts our commitment to upholding basic human rights,” said Ramathuba who is a medical doctor by profession.
“We reiterate our plea to security guards to adhere to their duties and refrain from triaging patients, a responsibility outside their expertise. Our heartfelt condolences go to the family of the deceased.”
In August, IOL reported that Ramathuba had sent a team to investigate circumstances surrounding the death of a man who collapsed and died on his way home after he was allegedly turned away at Ramupudu Clinic in Limpopo.
The ailing man had visited the healthcare centre seeking medical attention.
“Some community members allege that the man was denied medical assistance at the clinic,” the provincial health department said at the time.
“However, preliminary reports from the nursing staff indicate that the patient in question was seen by the staff at the clinic who recommended that he be transferred to Grobelarsdaal Hospital for further medical care and management.”
In the nurses’ version of events, the patient refused to immediately go to the hospital, insisting that he firstly needed to consult at home before he could go to the hospital.