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By Citizen Reporter


Gauteng health harms more than 8,000 patients a year, Ramokgopa admits

Instead of being helped, more than 20,000 patients ended up worse off in 2.5 years thanks to the very hospitals meant to heal them.

According to a written reply by Gauteng health MEC Gwen Ramokgopa, more than 20,000 patients have been harmed by negligence in Gauteng state hospitals in the past two and a half years.

She revealed the information in a written reply to questions from the DA in the Gauteng Legislature on Serious Adverse Events (SAEs) – defined as an event that results in unintended harm to the patient by an act of commission or omission, rather than by the underlying disease or condition of the patient.

According to Ramokgopa, the SAEs included “allegations of negligence, incompetence of staff members, human errors, abscondment of patients and system failure”.

There was a total of 20,417 SAEs recorded from 2016 to date as follows:

  • In 2016: 6,192
  • In 2017: 9,767
  • In 2018 up to June: 4,458

The Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital was the most dangerous hospital for patients in Gauteng, with 4,320 recorded SAEs over this period.

The other academic hospitals had the following SAEs:

  • Steve Biko Hospital: 1,789
  • George Mukhari Hospital: 1,574
  • Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital: 1,262

The worst SAE numbers in other hospitals were as follows:

  • Sebokeng Hospital: 1,487
  • Thelle Mogoerane Hospital: 1,387
  • Helen Joseph Hospital: 1,044
  • Tembisa Hospital: 865
  • Rahima Moosa 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 said that actions taken after SAEs included discipline, referral to the police, and referrals to the Health Professions’ Council and the SA Nursing Council, as well as various preventative measures being implemented to minimise SAEs.

The DA’s shadow MEC for health, Jack Bloom, said in a statement that 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”.

His party called for effective measures to minimise “medical mistakes that are mostly caused by poor management and lack of consequences for negligence”.

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