Sick man allegedly turned away from clinic, and died on his way back home

Two men carrying a body bag

Limpopo health authorities are probing the death of a man who was allegedly turned away from Ramupudu Clinic and he passed away on his way home. File Picture: Boxer Ngwenya

Published Aug 3, 2023


Limpopo MEC for Health, Dr Phophi Ramathuba has sent a team to investigate circumstances surrounding the death of a man who collapsed and died on his way home after he was allegedly turned away at Ramupudu Clinic.

The ailing man had visited the healthcare centre seeking medical attention.

“Some community members allege that the man was denied medical assistance at the clinic,” said Thilivhali Muavha, Ramathuba’s spokesperson.

“However, preliminary reports from the nursing staff indicate that the patient in question was seen by the staff at the clinic who recommended that he be transferred to Grobelarsdaal Hospital for further medical care and management.”

Limpopo Health MEC, Dr Phophi Ramathuba. Photo: Screengrab from YouTube

In the nurses’ version of events, the patient refused to immediately go to the hospital, insisting that he firstly needed to consult at home before he could go to the hospital.

“The nurses allowed him to go home because when it comes to medical admission and administration, the patient has the final say,” said Muavha.

The MEC therefore calls for calm in the community and allow the investigation team to get to the bottom of this issue.

Last year, international humanitarian medical group, Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières or MSF) said several foreign nationals have been turned away from public hospitals in Tshwane by activists in what the non-governmental organisation called an intensifying xenophobic climate and politicisation of health care.

At the time, MSF said “xenophobic protests” at the Kalafong Provincial Tertiary Hospital were preventing patients, including migrants, from accessing the facility.

“These actions must be rejected and should trigger urgent action by health authorities and leaders to protect access to healthcare for all,” MSF in South Africa said.

“Operation Dudula supporters have been protesting outside the hospital for three weeks, chanting threatening statements through loud-hailers and preventing many from entering the facility.”

Sibusiso Ndlovu, health promotion supervisor at MSF in Tshwane, said the protesters were demanding that foreign nationals be removed from public hospitals.