Namibia: Patient Dies After Sneaking Out of Hospital

16 September 2019

A fifty-five-year-old man died outside the Khorixas District Hospital yesterday after sneaking out of his hospital room alledgedly in search of tobacco.

Khorixas police station commander, chief inspector Theofelus Ipinge, said Frederick Hoëb left the hospital room after midnight on Sunday.

"The man was admitted on Saturday at around 19h00, but left his hospital room after midnight in search of tobacco," he told The Namibian yesterday.

Ipinge said the nurses contacted the police to assist in searching for Hoëb, who was on an oxygen dispenser and a drip as he was too weak. Hoëb was suffering from a heart condition. An inquest docket has now been opened.

"When the nurses realised that he was not in his ward, they contacted the police. My officers searched for him, but could not find him," Ipinge explained. Hoëb died outside a house on the western side of the Khorixas District Hospital, and his body was discovered by the owner of the house at around 07h00. He was still having a drip attached to his right arm. Ipinge said Hoëb had removed the oxygen mask he was wearing. "I was in his room yesterday.

I found the oxygen mask that was pulled off on the bedside," he added. Some food vendors outside the hospital also told the police that Hoëb had been asking if any of them had tobacco. The police have received regular calls from the hospital about patients who leave the health facility in search of alcohol and tobacco.

"We receive calls from the hospital regularly about patients who are going out to drink or smoke. We look for them, and sometimes find them. In some cases, they return to the hospital on their own," Ipinge said.

A nurse lamented that they face challenges of patients who leave the hospital wards without permission.

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