Helen Joseph Hospital, where a 26-year-old woman was found dead in a wheelchair in a waiting area, has inexplicably lost the deceased’s clothes.
Distraught mother Nqobile Dube has complained that the hospital failed to return her daughter’s clothes.
“I am appalled that the Helen Joseph Hospital has lost the clothes of a patient who died there in terrible circumstances last week,” said Jack Bloom, the Democratic Alliance (DA) Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health.
Commenting on the shocking situation on Wednesday, Bloom said the grieving family needs to bury the dead woman in “these clothes for cultural reasons”.
The DA shadow heath MEC said the hospital’s failure to produce the clothes has added to the heartbreak of Dube.
Last week Dube’s 26-year-old critically ill daughter, Sichelesile, died in a wheelchair at the hospital’s casualty after staff ignored her for more than a day.
The Gauteng health department would not be drawn to comment on the matter but said an investigation was underway.
“Dube wanted to bury her on Friday, but the hospital did not supply the clothes and Dube could not find her daughter’s belongings in a room that she was shown with a pile of clothes,” said Bloom.
“According to Dube, it would be disrespectful to her family and ancestors to bury her without these garments.
“It is unbelievable that the hospital continues to bungle this matter with gross insensitivity to the traumatised family.”
Bloom said the family wants to know why the hospital did not make every effort to save Sichelesile’s life, instead of totally ignoring her as she suffered in her wheelchair.
“I hope that hospital management learns from Sichelesile’s death to ensure that nothing like this ever happens again,” said Bloom.
To make matters worse, Dube recently lost her husband who died in a car crash.