The Inkatha Freedom Party is shocked that a nurse at the King Edward VIII Hospital in Durban insisted that a mother produce a letter from a clinic before her baby could be treated.

“Mrs Jabulile Dlamini had gone to the hospital at 11pm on Monday night with her 4year old baby who was suffering from diarrhoea and was vomiting. This morning the mother was told by Sister Twala to join the queue again and that she must have a referral letter from a clinic before the child could be treated. This is unacceptable since the mother and the baby were at the hospital from last night. Mrs Dlamini is a working mother who could not afford to take a day off from work to sit at the hospital with her sick baby. The nurse could see that the baby was vomiting but she still insisted on the mother producing a letter from the clinic. This clearly demonstrates that some medical staff do not have the interest of patients at heart. Such medical personnel have no place in our health care system if they cannot empathise with the plight of those who are ill, especially little children and the elderly,” said IFP Spokesperson on Health, Hon Mrs Ncamisile Nkwanyana, MPL.

“It was only after I intervened by calling the hospital that the baby was given treatment. It should not be necessary for this sort of intervention for a sick baby to receive treatment at one of the biggest hospitals in our province. I call on the hospital superintendent to investigate this incident and to ensure that no patient is treated in such an uncaring manner. I will also be reporting this matter to the KZN Health MEC, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo as the refusal of medical treatment is a violation of people’s rights. Medical staff at public health care facilities must be true to the oath that they take and carry out their duties in a manner that demonstrates their commitment to improving public health care. We cannot allow medical staff to abuse the uniform that they wear by treating people in such a manner. They must understand that they are paid by the tax payers who they are there to serve”, concluded Hon Mrs Nkwanyana.