Cape Town – The provincial health department has committed to launching an investigation following the death of a newborn baby amid allegations of negligence by medical staff.
This comes after Nerina Swartz, 37, from Elsies River, was allegedly turned away at Elsies River Day Hospital, where she said a midwife obstetric unit (MOU) nurse referred her to Tygerberg Hospital with her premature baby still attached to her umbilical cord.
The baby died after she arrived at Tygerberg Hospital.
Provincial health spokesperson Mark van der Heever said they would also be cooperating with the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC), which has been alerted to the matter.
“We are extremely saddened to hear of this incident and will be launching an investigation to determine all the facts in relation to this unfortunate incident. We will also fully cooperate with the SAHRC investigation, and our Head of Health, Dr Keith Cloete, will continue to communicate with the commission.
“We take this matter extremely seriously, because providing quality healthcare to every single person is our priority. We offer our sincere condolences to the parents during this difficult time. The Head of Department has requested specialists to review the circumstances around this unfortunate incident,” said Van der Heever.
As part of the investigation the team would also meet with Swartz, confirmed Van der Heever.
SAHRC commissioner Chris Nissen said they had met the team at Elsies River Day Hospital and engaged with Swartz.
“We were assured an internal investigation would take place and once the investigation is complete, a report will be submitted to the SAHRC. We are happy with this and support the department in that.
’’It was a fruitful engagement and we will give them the space and time to complete the investigation,” said Nissen.
After being referred to and arriving at Tygerberg Hospital, Swartz said her baby died after about two hours.