Netcare says no patient with a multiple pregnancy of eight or more foetuses has ever consulted a gynaecologist/obstetrician, had a scan or been admitted to any of its facilities including the Netcare Sunninghill Hospital.
This after Independent Media Group’s boss Iqbal Survé held a media briefing on Wednesday, where he mentioned a number of hospitals that were apparently involved in the birth of the Tembisa 10.
But Netcare says it was not involved in any way.
“In addition to double-checking hospital records, management has verified with all the independent gynaecologists and obstetricians practising at the facility that none of their practices have consulted a patient or done a scan showing a multiple pregnancy of eight or more foetuses,” said Jacques du Plessis, managing director of Netcare’s Hospital division, in a statement.
This is the second hospital to come forward and distance itself from the babies.
On Wednesday morning, owners of the Zamokuhle Private Hospital, Lenmed Hospital Group, sent out a statement saying Ms Gosiame Sithole did not give birth to decuplets at any of its facilities in June this year.
“In fact, the hospital group has no record of Ms Sithole giving birth at any of our facilities.”
The group said Lenmed protocol stipulates that the responsible doctors inform the hospital of planned multiple births well in advance, to ensure that there are sufficient ventilators and oscillators available.
“Multiple births are an extraordinary event and our attending obstetricians inform the hospital well in advance of the number of expected neonates, as the delivery can be expected any time after the 24th week of pregnancy depending on the number of babies expected,” said Dr Nilesh Patel, group chief medical officer, in the statement.
They said that newborns in multiple pregnancies are generally premature and many require intensive care after birth. This would require multiple neo-natal nurses and paediatricians, and plenty of equipment to ensure the survival of the babies.
Patel said this would have likely prompted them to refer the expectant mother to a facility more capable of dealing with such births.
“An exercise of this nature would generally require the services of an academic hospital which has the necessary resources to deliver multiple neonates. Had one of our patients at Zamokuhle Private Hospital in Tembisa been expecting more than two neonates, Zamokuhle would have instituted alternative arrangements.”
Amil Devchand, CEO of Lenmed, said no hospital in the group had ever delivered more than triplets, while dismissing the allegations that they were involved in a baby smuggling ring as “false rumour mongering and an attempt by some to peddle fabricated information”.
“We have detailed, secure and verified records of all births at our facilities. No one by that name [Gosiame Sithole] has given birth, nor have there been any multiple births at the hospital during that time.”
Additional reporting by Earl Coetzee