Special Assignment

Love Our Elderly

In “LOVE OUR ELDERLY’’ we uncover cases at Middelburg State Hospital in Mpumalanga, where elderly patients are admitted for hip fractures and die a few months later. Families of the deceased and other stakeholders believe the elderly patients died due to gross medical neglect.

Bets Claasen was 79-years old and Kashane Shabango, 83-years old, reportedly very healthy women, when they were admitted to Middelburg Hospital for a broken hip. Their conditions allegedly deteriorated until they developed such severe bedsores that they eventually died. The alleged reasons for their deaths are septicemia and gangrene.

Special Assignment brings you the shocking condition which these elderly patients were in, prior to their deaths. Medical and legal experts believe these, and other such cases reported at Middelburg Hospital, constitute medical neglect.

The onset of bedsores can easily be prevented by turning a patient every few hours. With proper and basic medical care, bedsores are easily treatable. In the cases which we highlight, this basic care was seemingly absent.

Claims for medical malpractice in South Africa are on the rise and provision for medical malpractice lawsuits breached a staggering 25-million rand in the previous financial year. Tonight’s programme highlights the continuous serious digressions of medical protocol inside our state hospitals and the devastating effects this continues to have on patients and their families across the country.

LOVE OUR ELDERLY,produced by Adel van Niekerk, airs in our new slot, Wednesday nights at 21h30 on SABC3.