Allegations against Madadeni Hospital, KZN Dept of Health responds

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Recently, Madadeni Provincial Hospital in KwaZulu-Natal was accused of damning allegations. The KZN Department of Health stepping in to offer clarity on the developing situation.

The accusations come from two patients claiming they allegedly faced sub-standard care and service from the medical facility.

The first patient, who wishes to remain anonymous, explains that he recently broke his arm. However, the cast was allegedly too tight, leaving him no option but to cut the cast off. This led to him contacting the hospital again.

According to the patient, he was eventually admitted to the Provincial Hospital to undergo an operation on his broken arm. With the procedure earmarked for 10 September 2021, the patient claimed that he allegedly faced a series of issues from the moment he was booked in. 

Some of the issues he allegedly faced include the following:

  • A sagging bed
  • Food that was either served in small portions, cold or half raw.
  • No pillows on his bed. He states that when he approached the staff, requesting a pillow, he was apparently told, “Don’t think because you are white, you can get a pillow. Pillows are a privilege.”
  • The patient claims security guards at the hospital maltreated him after trying to release himself from the hospital.  Further stating that one of the security guards twisted his broken arm, with one of the men claiming, “You white people think you can rule everything.”
  • The attending doctor was allegedly rude and refused to let the patient know when precisely the procedure would take place and what he had written in the patient’s file.

He eventually discharged himself from the hospital due to the alleged treatment he received. The patient believes his treatment was racially motivated.

Due to the seriousness of the allegations, ensuring unbiased reporting, the Newcastillian – Online News approached the Madadeni Hospital for comment.

The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health responded to the matter, stating it is not as clear-cut as claimed by the gentleman in question.

Spokesperson for KZN Department of Health, Ntokozo Maphisa, explains the management of the hospital has conducted an inquiry into the allegations, revealing among other things that:

  • One of the patients was aggressive and repeatedly used the “K…..” word during his engagement with hospital staff.
  • He also made a disturbing, obscene and objectionable request, to the effect that he would only allow the hospital to admit him if hospital staff were willing to wash his genitals the way his wife does. This is despite the patient being fully ambulant and physically able to wash himself.
  • Allegations regarding the condition of the bed have been found to be false. The hospital has a standardised menu, and food is transported with accompanying food warmers at acceptable heating levels.
  • The patient was actually attended to within a reasonable period of time and was admitted to a ward that recently procured new hospital beds.
  • CCTV footage has been viewed, and at no point does it reveal the patient being manhandled.

When looking at the second lot of allegations, the patient’s wife claims they were moving house on 11 September 2021, when just after 9 am, her husband suddenly suffered intense chest pains, with one of his arms going numb.

Subsequently, he was rushed to a doctor, who advised them to go to Madadeni Hospital. Which they duly did, arriving at the hospital by 10 am.

According to the lady, an EKG was done, which showed the patient might have had a heart attack. The concerned wife claims medical staff moved her husband to the casualty unit, where her husband was given both morphine and oxygen.

After a wait, she claimed she asked what was going on and was then told her husband would have to go for a chest X-ray, which was performed. 

Allegedly the chest X-ray seemed fine. But by 1 pm, nothing further was being done, with her and her husband waiting for further assistance and feedback.

Eventually, after 2 pm, she states she approached the casualty staff to establish what was happening due to the long wait. The patient’s wife said that the doctor had been busy with a resuscitation, which she found concerning. The doctor had allegedly been busy with the said resuscitation for three hours.

Another EKG was not done, even though the initial EKG could not be used. Allegedly by 3 pm, nothing more had been done, resulting in growing frustrations. He eventually discharged himself and then headed home. As they were preparing to leave, the patient’s wife explained that the nurses said they could now admit her husband.

Two days after they left the hospital, the patient was still feeling ill. He then went for another EKG and blood tests at a different medical facility that showed he had indeed had a heart attack.

The couple was told to return to Madadeni Hospital to see a cardiologist before the patient could go to Grey’s Hospital for testing. Allegedly, they waited for hours before being told they would need to return the following day as the doctors went home at 4 pm.

On 15 September 2021, they returned to Madadeni Hospital, where the doctor on duty attended to the man, confirming he had had a heart attack, giving him heart medication.

Considering the alleged treatment, the family feels something needs to be done, as this could have put the patient’s life in jeopardy and could place various patients at risk.  

However, regarding the second patient, Maphisa highlights that hospital records reveal that on 11 September 2021, the patient was triaged at 11.29 am and was seen by a doctor at 12.10 pm. 

He emphasises, “The doctor performed a thorough medical examination, and implemented the requisite medical interventions, which the Department may not divulge, in line with the country’s legislation.”

Moreover, Maphisa says the patient underwent X-rays at 1.05 pm, which were reviewed shortly after that. The patient was apparently monitored accordingly, and the doctor returned to examine the patient at 2.50 pm. “The patient was informed that he would need to be admitted, but refused. He was extensively engaged about the disadvantages and risks of this, but disregarded this counsel,” declares the KZN Department of Health.

According to Maphisa, the patient left and returned on 15 September 2021. “After being once again examined and having his case discussed with the relevant specialists at Grey’s Hospital, the patient was informed that he would need to continue taking the medication that Madadeni Hospital had initiated.”

Looking at the situation in its entirety, Maphisa says that the Department condemns any acts of abuse targeted at staff or patients by any individual in the strongest possible terms.

“To ensure recourse in cases where patients feel aggrieved, the Department has made the contact details of hospital managers visible at key strategic sections of our healthcare facilities. We urge all patients to make use of these details, so that issues of grievance may be investigated.”

Spokesperson for KZN Department of Health, Ntokozo Maphisa

As the KZN Department of Health responds to the allegations, what are your thoughts on the matter? 

Share your views in the comment section below.

3 thoughts on “Allegations against Madadeni Hospital, KZN Dept of Health responds

  1. I think this matter was dealt with accordingly. This patient was rude and expected first world treatment in a 3rd world level hospital. Our public hospital see enormous numbers of patients and unfortunately the waiting times are ridiculously long also and with poor resources , which is a result of money being channeled to litigation costs instead of improving the service. This man in question wants to sue the department – so what’s going to happen is – instead of improving the facility the department will have to use that money to pay him – rending the same hospital resource-strained- same hospital that his friends / family are gonna need. I think we need to be respectful and patient when we attend public hospital or then otherwise go to private where you can demand that things be done your way and at your time. Madadeni hospital is a good hospital- many lives are saved there.

  2. I also went to the hispital for test for my heart and it was not preform right my file went missing a few times 4years back i was in the hospital after half an hour one doctor wanted to operate to see wats wrong with me i refuse after a week i went home still not nowing wat was wrong with me i still have problemes that i have in hospital wont go back there

  3. I was admitted to the covid ward and thereafter to ward 1A.
    I was treated well and could not find any fault with the staff or treatment that I received.
    Only one small problem to me was that the ward lights were only switched off at night around 00h00.
    Otherwise no problems.

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