Johannesburg - Negligence at Gauteng state hospitals has caused damage to over 20 000 patients in the last two-and-a-half years.
According to the DA, this was revealed by Gauteng Health MEC Gwen Ramokgopa in a written reply to the party's Jack Bloom at the Legislature on Serious Adverse Events (SAEs). These are defined as an event that results in an unintended harm to the patient by an act of commission or omission rather than by the underlying disease or condition of the patient.
Ramokgopa said the SAEs included “allegations of negligence, incompetence of staff members, human errors, abscondment of patients and system failure”.
According to the MEC, there was a total of 20 417 SAEs recorded from 2016. She said there were 6 192 in 2016 and they went up to 9 767 in 2017 while from January to June this year 4 458 cases have already been recorded.
Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital is allegedly the most dangerous hospital for patients in Gauteng, with 4 320 recorded SAEs over the past two and half years.
Steve Biko Academic Hospital recorded 1 789 in the same period, 1 574 at George Mukhari Academic Hospital while there were 1 262 SAEs at Charlotte Maxeke Academic Johannesburg Hospital.
The worst SAE numbers in other hospitals were recorded as follows:
Sebokeng Hospital - 1487
Thelle Mogoerane Hospital - 1387
Helen Joseph Hospital - 1044
Tembisa Hospital - 865
Rahima Moosa Mother and Child Hospital - 860
Mamelodi Hospital - 824
Leratong Hospital - 651
Far East Rand Hospital - 644
Tambo Memorial Hospital - 615
Kalafong Hospital - 413
Pholosong Hospital - 384
Bertha Gxowa Hospital - 323
Heidelberg Hospital had the lowest number of SAEs (42), followed by Tshwane District (50), Pretoria West (66), Odi (77), Carletonville (90) and South Rand (92).
Ramokgopa says that action taken after SAEs included discipline, referral to the police, the Health Professions Council of South Africa, the SA Nursing Council as well as various preventative measures to minimise SAEs.
Bloom, who is the DA Shadow MEC on Health in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature, said the shockingly high number of harmful events to patients highlights the crisis in public health that is driving up medical negligence cases which lead to huge court-ordered payouts.
"The Democratic Alliance calls for effective measures to minimize medical mistakes that are mostly caused by poor management and lack of consequences for negligence," Bloom said.