Durban – The IFP in KwaZulu-Natal has called for an investigation into the medical care offered to one of the party members' son at Ngwelezana hospital in Empangeni north of the province.
The IFP claimed that Njobenhle Gwala, the son of legislature member Blessed Gwala, was not given proper medical treatment, two weeks ago.
In a statement the party spokesperson on health matters in the legislature Ncamisile Nkwanyana said Gwala was referred to the hospital after a doctor in Richards Bay and a family doctor in uMhlanga conducted check-ups.
Doctors advised that he must be transferred to the hospital by ambulance because his condition was deteriorating.
The party said after conducting tests on him the hospital allegedly told Gwala to go home around midnight because the hospital could not admit him.
Gwala ended up sleeping on the benches in the hospital because there was no transport.
Nkwanyana lashed out at the hospital for not helping Gwala call a family member to ask to be picked up.
“It is disturbing that a doctor can ‘reject’ a critically ill patient at 11pm.
“Surprisingly, no one bothered to inform his family that he would not be admitted.
“He subsequently caught the flu in hospital.
“It is safe to state that the patient was ill at the time, and continues to be ill even today, while sitting at home without adequate medical treatment.” Nkwanyana said.
The IFP stated that it was not raising this issue because it expected special treatment based on the father of the patient but was concerned about what kind of treatment/ abuse other patients of this hospital – and any other hospital – have been subjected to.
“We want to see those responsible for medical negligence in hospitals and clinics to be held accountable and be made to pay those claims.
“These huge sums spent on claims clearly indicate that the department is not implementing measures to prevent medico-legal claims,” concludes the statement.
Speaking to the Daily News on his way to his son at home Gwala said raising the issue was a matter of principle for him, saying although he may have financially capacity to take his son to another hospital where he would get better treatment but he and the party were concerned about poor people who were dying at home.
Health department spokesperson Ntokozo Maphisa said the matter was being investigated and the MEC was awaiting for the report from the district officials which the hospital falls under.