Limpopo woman dies in hospital after broken leg is not operated on for weeks: Health Ombud must investigate
21 May 2018
Today the Democratic Alliance (DA) will write to the Health Ombudsman, Professor Malegapuru Makgoba, requesting him to urgently investigate the circumstances that led to the death of 48-year old,Granny Madikwe, in a Limpopo hospital last week.
Ms Madikwe from Mokopane passed away last week on 18 May 2018 after she was left with no medical help at the Voortrekker Hospital, Limpopo.
About 7 weeks earlier, on 29 March 2018, Ms Madikwe was hit by a taxi and suffered a fracture to her left leg and hip. After being admitted to Voortrekker Hospital in Mokopane and left lying in her hospital bed for weeks, with no medical help or a possible date for her surgery, she sought the DA’s intervention.
The DA immediately intervened by contacting the Head of the Health Department in Limpopo, Dr Ntsie Kgaphole, who on more than one occasions promised to attend to the matter. The DA can provide text messages confirming this communication to the HOD.
However, when I went to visit Ms Madikwe on 17 April, she had still not received any medical help. The doctor I spoke to told me that he was extremely concerned that the longer she was kept without the necessary care, her bones would be healing although not in their natural alignment. This meant that if she was to be operated eventually, she would have her bone structure broken again in order to align it properly.
Only three weeks later, on 9 May was she transferred to Mokopane Hospital, effectively after a seven-week period in total.
She underwent surgery at Mokopane Hospital on 16 May. Two days later, on 18 May, Ms Madikwe sadly passed away.
Ms Madikwe was in hospital because she had a fractured leg. She had no history of other ailments. Had she been treated timeously and been given the necessary medication, she would still have been alive today.
She leaves behind a husband, two dependent children and a granddaughter.
Ms Madikwe’s ordeal at the hands of the hospital and her subsequent passing is grossly uncaring, negligent and cruel. The Limpopo Health Department must bow its head in shame.
I will not rest until I have received confirmation from the Health Ombud that he will be investigating this tragedy.
I also call on the Limpopo Health MEC, Dr Phophi Ramathuba, to publicly account for what happened here. She must explain to the people of this province how it can be that after her department was made aware of the situation, they continued to drag their feet.
The DA will be demanding justice for Ms Madikwe. We will not allow this matter to be swept under the carpet and become just one more of the horrid tragedies that too often occur in our public healthcare facilities.
During #HospitalHealthCheck, the DA’s current hospital oversight inspection campaign, we will continue to expose negligence and shortcomings in our public healthcare facilities in an attempt to prevent more tragedies such as this from occurring.
South Africans deserve better. They deserve a government that respects them and cares about their fundamental human rights. Health care in South Africa needs to change. Only under the DA will national healthcare in South Africa truly benefit all South Africans in a dignified way.
Issued by Langa Bodlani, DA Limpopo Spokesperson on Health, 21 May 2018