Minister of Health Dr Zweli Mkhize. Picture: Jairus Mmutle/GCIS
Minister of Health Dr Zweli Mkhize. Picture: Jairus Mmutle/GCIS

Mkhize reprimands Northdale hospital management after patient died in ’shabby shack tent’

By Bongani Hans Time of article published Aug 8, 2020

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Durban - Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has read the riot act to health management that they will be held accountable for the shoddy job such as that led to the recent death of a patient at a hospital in KwaZulu-Natal who was kept a in a “ shabby shack tent.”

Mkhize was on Saturday concluding his three-day visit to the province to inspect health facilities’ state of readiness for the expected surge of Covid-19 infections.

On his last leg he visited Northdale Hospital in Pietermaritzburg where Sibusiso Khumalo, 67, died late last week while he was in a makeshift ward, which was erected in a parking lot and whose condition was apparently substandard. It is believed that he had been encountering breathing problems.

“The management across the country needs to know that they are going to be accountable, (and) they are going to take responsibility for the good and the bad that they do,” said Mkhize.

It was alleged that when Khumalo complained about feeling cold while he and other patients were in the tent, which was donated to the facility, nurses refused to help him, and when his family members brought him a blanket they found him dead.

His death, which had made media headlines, had led to the suspension of medical and nursing managers pending the investigation while the hospital’s acting chief executive was deployed to her previous post of maternal health specialist.

Mkhize said the investigation would look at the standard of managing the hospital. He said investigators would also interact with district and provincial officers to get to the bottom of the issue.

“We are going to be taking action on anyone where we think that they are not using their position for ensuring that we have the best care we want for our people.

“This investigation must cover as well as to how come it has to be the patient picking up the issue, not the management who is supposed to oversee and ensure that the situation is under control,” he said.

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