South Africa: A Tragedy That's Indicative of SA's Failing Health Systems

analysis

As Parliament prepares to debate the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill and as the Department of Health begins work on laying the foundations for the NHI fund, judges from the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) have ordered Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize to urgently 'address... serious and serial negligence in hospitals falling under the Eastern Cape Health Department'.

Somewhere in the OR Tambo District of the Eastern Cape lives a mother and her soon to be six-year-old child. We don't know their real names. In a recent judgment handed down by the Supreme Court of Appeal, they were known only as AN and EN. But let me tell you a little of their story.

On 2 October 2013 AN arrived at All Saints Hospital in Engcobo to give birth to her first child. Fortunately, her pregnancy had been an uneventful and healthy one. The delivery was expected to be uncomplicated. But her good fortune had run out. AN was admitted to hospital and then left in labour for 12 hours. During the night, nurses ignored her cries for help. The standard guidelines on delivery were ignored. This is how Judge Mahube Molemela, who wrote a dissenting judgment, described what happened...

See What Everyone is Watching

More From: Daily Maverick

Don't Miss

AllAfrica publishes around 700 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.