Hope for victims of alleged negligence at Delmas hospital

Mandisa Mkhumbeni, who depends on diapers after a botched operation and cervical cancer misdiagnosis, is relieved that the Mpumalanga health department is handling her complaint. Mkhumbeni is among a group of people in Delmas, Mpumalanga, who handed over a memorandum of grievances to the department demanding action be taken against staff at the notorious Bernice Samuel Hospital.
This happened after the arm of an infant was amputated in an apparent case of negligence by medical staff. Mpumalanga health spokesperson Dumisani Malamule said Mkhumbeni and another patient have formally registered their complaints with the hospital and the department.
“The two patients have come forward. We are waiting for the hospital to forward all the relevant cases once all patients are assessed and handed over to the department. The patients have been referred to specialists at the Witbank Hospital and further assessment will be done. Unfortunately, because of the confidentiality clause we will keep the details of the assessment private and prioritised their wellbeing,” said Malamule.
For seven months Mkhumbeni has had to rely on adult nappies after a botched operation that left her with a punctured bladder. Mkhumbeni, 29, from Delmas, suffers from abdominal pains and leakage of urine that has resulted in her not being able to work or to leave her home.
“I’m really scared of being assessed at the same facilities that left me in this condition but because the department has intervened I have hope that I will get help and go back to my normal life. I was assessed at Bernice Samuel on Monday and transferred to Wibank Hospital where I have been readied to go to Rob Ferreira Hospital in Mbombela for further treatment,” she said.
Bernice Samuel acting CEO, Sibusiso Mahlangu said the hospital has been engaging with Mkhumbeni and another patient who was also affected.
He said the other families are still in assessments by the hospital which has apologised to the families for taking long to look into their matters. He added that four doctors and a nurse have since been suspended until the end of the investigation into the amputation of the child’s hand and a report has been sent to the head of the health department. Malamule said the department will facilitate and monitor the mobile clinic that has been made available to rural parts of Delmas.
“We have also noted the bad clinical services complaints in the hospital and [are] amending the visitation hours to one visitor per day, including the maternity ward to allow families to assist new mothers with their newborn babies.”

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