South Africa: Nehawu KwaZulu-Natal Angered By Death of a Patient From Hypoxia in a Makeshift Parking Lot Facility At a Pietermaritzburg Hospital

press release

The National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union [NEHAWU] in KwaZulu-Natal is angered by the death of a patient from hypoxia in a makeshift parking lot facility at the Northdale Hospital in Pietermaritzburg.

The patient was taken to the hospital on Friday 31st July 2020 after he complained of shortness of breath. However, he was taken to a makeshift facility that is located in the parking lot of the hospital. We find it abhorrent that the hospital would subject patients to such inhumane conditions. The use of such a structure especially in the middle of winter must be investigated with immediate effect and those who are responsible for the erection of the structure must face harsh punitive measures.

As NEHAWU in the province, we call for the immediate dismantling of the structure. The fact that the Head of the health department, Dr Sandile Tshabalala, was not aware of the existence of such a structure is a serious cause for concern. At the helm of our provincial health department we need people who will concern themselves about the wellbeing of patients in healthcare facilities and the better management of all healthcare facilities across the province.

We will be engaging the MEC of health on this matter to ensure that it does not die down and the family of the deceased finds closure for their departed father.

We send our sincerest condolences to the Khumalo family and wish the family strength while dealing with this dark hour.

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