RK Khan Hospital in Chatsworth. Zanele Zulu African News Agency (ANA) Archives
OPINION - Several appalling and shocking incidents at state hospitals have given us an insight to what goes on inside these institutions, all pointing to serious maladministration, unprofessional and unethical conduct and gross ill-treatment of patients who are at the mercy of medical staff, trained and paid to take care of the sick and injured.

There was a patient left unattended for five days on a stretcher at Addington Hospital. Broken lifts in the 16- storey hospital and a fire at the same hospital, forced patients to be evacuated.

There was the shocking incident of a 76-year-old patient bound and chained like an animal to the legs of a steel bench at Mamelodi Hospital in Pretoria.

And then, like a grotesque horror movie that leaves you squirming and retching, a 52- year old patient is left to die with maggots crawling in his mouth. Hospital? The Infamous RK Khan, it never fails to grab the headlines.

We have heard of patients treated like animals at an abattoir, negligent, indifferent and inexperienced medical staff bungling on the operation table, leaving the patient worse off than before, wrong limbs being cut off, surgical instruments left inside the patient's body and patients left to bleed to death by uncaring nurses.

And what of all the other incidents of ill-treatment of patients that never leave the walls and corridors of the hospitals?

But the creepy-crawly story of maggots in the mouth must rank as the worst. R K Khan is a rotten hospital, and those guilty of unethical behaviour and gross violation of the Hippocratic Oath should be severely dealt with.

Heads should roll. They should never be employed at hospitals. But that's easier said than done at these hospitals.

T Markandan Durban

Daily News