Man’s hands amputated after hospital negligence

A man with mental illness from Welkom in Free State had his hands amputated after nurses at Bongani Regional Hospital allegedly mistreated him when he reported to the facility after being stabbed.

Sunday World has it on good authority that Tshokolo Mokoena, 48, was admitted at the hospital on October 16 last year. On admission, he was allegedly psychotic.

The nurses inserted intercostal drains on both sides of his chest but during his psychosis he pulled out the drains. The nurses then decided to restrain his hands to stop this. This is when things went horribly wrong as the medical staff allegedly failed to monitor him and his hands became gangrenous and had to be amputated.

Free State department of health spokesperson Mondli Mvambi said the department was immediately made aware of the case.

“A thorough internal investigation process and presentation of the case at the Hospital Clinical Governance Forum was done, with remedial actions recommended, and necessary consequence management,” Mvambi said.

He added that a parallel Provincial Mental Health Review Board investigation was concluded on July 6, and said that report is pending.

“The patient is permanently accommodated at one of the department’s healthcare facilities. The department is also aware of the engagement process that has been initiated by the legal representatives of the family, and on this account the department prefers not to further comment on this matter until all processes are duly concluded,” he said.

This paper understands that Mokoena has since been admitted to the Free State Psychiatric Complex in Bloemfontein.

Sunday World reported two weeks ago that the Free State government identified Pelonomi Tertiary Hospital, Manapo Regional Hospital and Bongani Regional Hospital as the facilities with the most cases of medical negligence.

The provincial health department recorded 124 medical negligence cases in the past two years, with a price tag of R1.1-billion. It has paid out R52.2-million over the past five years.

This paper also reported that medical negligence claims are threatening to collapse South Africa’s public health system, with billions of rand in claims lodged against all nine provincial health departments.

Minister of Health Joe Phaahla last month revealed that medico-legal claims against the government amounted to a whopping R21-billion over the past two financial years.

Sunday World tried unsuccessfully to get hold of Mokoena’s family.

Meanwhile, President Cyril Ramaphosa on Friday authorised the Special Investigating Unit to investigate medical negligence claims at national and provincial levels.

The probe will investigate the following:

  • Unlawful or improper conduct by claimants or applicants of their agents in the institution of civil action or civil application proceedings for relief against the institutions in respect of medical negligence claims in a manner that was fraudulent conducted through the improper or unlawful conduct of employees or officials of the institutions.

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