Patients to be sent home should they refuse to be transferred to other hospitals.

The Limpopo province health department recently said that because of the rise in Covid-19 cases and some hospitals being full, patients will be transferred to other hospitals which still have beds. According to a statement by the department, patients refusing to be transferred to hospitals in other parts of the province will be ordered to go back home.

“There is a high demand for beds. As a result, all beds in all hospitals have been pooled to enable admission of patients as required. Patients should not expect hospitalisation in their local hospital, as they could be transferred to a remote institution with available beds. This means that if the beds in the hospitals where you are consulting now are full … you will be admitted and captured in the hospital system. A bed will be secured for you at any of the Limpopo Department of Health’s hospitals. You will be transferred and transported to the hospital where a bed was found for you. On discharge you will be transported back to your base hospital,” the notice said.

The department also said that patients refusing to be allocated a bed in other hospitals will be asked to sign a form admitting to declining treatment, and that if they refuse to be transferred or transported to a hospital where a bed was found for them, their refusal will be entered into the hospital file. It said that these patients must sign a Refusal of Hospital Treatment Form and then leave the hospital premises and make space for other patients.”

The Limpopo health department recently said that the province was experiencing a spike in the numbers of people testing positive for the coronavirus. The province recorded “an all-time high of 1644 new positive cases”. It said the Vhembe District, which maintained low figures for the longest period, was now a major contributor to the province’s high positive cases.

According to the statement, the district recorded 493 new positive cases between Thursday and Friday. It was just eight cases short of being equal to the Capricorn District, which recorded 501 new cases.

Health MEC, Phophi Ramathuba raised a concern about funerals.

“With the increasing number of funerals, our people still treat funerals as normal. Our people continue to visit bereaved families and also attend funerals in large numbers. Now we are seeing funerals becoming grounds for super spreaders. We therefore want to request our people to desist from these practices,” she said.

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