Health-e (Cape Town)

8 January 2014

South Africa: Man Dies After Being Allegedly Turned Away By Free State Hospital

Hospital staff recently discovered a man dead in his car after allegedly being turned away from Mofumahadi Manapo Mopeli Regional Hospital (MMMRH), according to the man's family.

"Immediately, I knew that this was an unhelped patient," said the MMMRH staff member at who found Tsholo Zachariah Moloi's body in the parking lot.

"Not a week goes by without at least four patients being sent home not having been helped," added the staff member, who wished to remain anonymous.

According to Moloi's family, he had been turned away from the hospital at least three times without treatment prior to his death.

"A doctor gave my father a referral letter to the hospital in September," said Moloi's son, Mohapi. "He went to three times with the letter and was never assisted."

The family intends to take legal action, according to Moloi's daughter Karabelo.

"At the hands of negligence, I lost a father," she told OurHealth. "All I cry for is justice to be served."

"Now I know never to trust the public healthcare sector," she added.

Hospital staff refused to speak to OurHealth, saying that their employment contacts forbade them from speaking to the media.

Patients, however, did not mind speaking to OurHealth.

"This place gives no hope to the patients," said Mpho Ditshibane. "It is really better to die at home than being in this hospital."

Single Lephuthing reported waiting more than 13 hours to be seen for a swollen and bleeding leg: "Everyone kept passing by me like I was part of the furniture."

A district health official, who asked to remain anonymous, said the Department of Health would look into the matter.

"At no stage is a patient suppose to be sent home without being treated," he said. "Mr Moloi's passing comes as a disappointment to the department especially because he had a referral letter from a doctor."

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