Woman found guilty of theft after stealing file from hospital

A woman who stole her mom’s patient file from Tshilidzini Hospital has been found guilty of theft by the Thohoyandou Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.

This is a decision the Limpopo Department of Health said they welcomed and hoped it would serve as a deterrent to others contemplating to do the same.

Health MEC Dr Phophi Ramathuba said the department bleeds a lot of money because of people who steal files from hospitals and later demand them from the same hospitals.

Thilivhali Muavha, the MEC’s spokesperson, said the woman and her mother were once treated for fractures they sustained during a motor vehicle accident. But last year, the hospital was petitioned by the patient’s lawyer to produce the file of the patient or pay R90 000 for failure to do so.

After investigations, the file was found to have been with the patient’s daughter. She allegedly confessed to have been advised by the lawyer to keep it for the purposed of Road Accident Fund (RAF) claims.

She was sentenced to six months imprisonment suspended for five years.

Ramathuba reminded patients that by stealing their own files is tantamount to stealing your own future care.

“In the absence of patient records, doctors will need to start from scratch where they were supposed to just continue and this can have dire consequences on patients themselves,” said Ramathuba.

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