Probe After Woman Found Dead In Hospital Queue

The Gauteng department of health on Friday said it was investigating the shocking report of a woman found dead in a wheelchair by her mother in the same spot she was left the previous day in the waiting area of the Helen Joseph Hospital.

“I am horrified by the ordeal suffered by a Johannesburg mother whose daughter died unattended at the casualty department of the Helen Joseph Hospital earlier this week,” said Jack Bloom the Democratic Alliance (DA) shadow MEC for health in Gauteng.

“According to Ms. Nqobile Dube, she took her 26-year-old critically ill daughter Sichelesile to the hospital on Monday at 1 pm and was told she would be admitted at 9 pm that night.

“But when she came back on late Tuesday afternoon, she found that she had passed away in her wheelchair at the same spot, with her mouth and eyes wide open.”

Bloom said this terrible story highlights once again the neglect that many patients have experienced at Helen Joseph’s casualty.

He said the hospital was grossly overcrowded with patients who can wait days before being admitted to a ward.

“The situation has worsened with the Covid-19 epidemic as well as the extra burden of patients who would have gone to the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital (CMJH) which has been largely closed since the fire there in April this year.”

Commenting on the terrible ordeal suffered by Dube, whose husband recently died in a car accident, the Gauteng Department of Health said, “it has noted with sadness the reported incident”.

The department said it has instituted an investigation to establish “the circumstances around the demise of the female patient”.

The department added: “An update will be provided on the matter upon finalisation of the investigation into this matter. We wish to convey our sincere condolences to the patient’s family”.