10 major Gauteng hospitals termed ‘most dangerous’

Image courtesy stock.xchnge (Kurhan)

Image courtesy stock.xchnge (Kurhan)

A hospital is a place you go to get better… not worse. Yet 10 of the Gauteng’s major public hospitals have been labelled as “most dangerous”, according to questions answered by Gauteng health MEC Hope Papo.

This was revealed through the number of “serious adverse events” (SAE) recorded between January 2012 to September 2013 at these hospitals.

Negligence, sexual assault, suicide and attempted suicide, skills gap, systems failure and errors, among others. constitute an SAE.

An SAE is defined as “an event that results in an unintended harm to the patient by an act of commission or omission rather than by the underlying disease or condition of the patient”, according to DA Gauteng health spokesperson Jack Bloom.

Tembisa hospital has been labelled the worst of all with a record of 71 such incidences during the specified period.

In 2012, 373 cases were recorded and between January and September last year, 532 cases were recorded, the health department said.

“We have noted with concern an increase in the number of serious adverse events recorded,” Papo said. “The majority of these cases last year were from our central hospitals, Chris Hani-Baragwanath 39, Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg 25, Dr George Mukhari 16 and Steve Biko Pretoria 7. This is because of the nature of the services that are provided there.”

The department was establishing a provincial multi-disciplinary committee to look at preventative measures to curb SAEs.

“All these reported cases are taken seriously and are thoroughly investigated by the department. Upon completion of investigations the normal disciplinary procedures are followed. The department has given some staff members verbal or written warning; counselling; training; suspension without pay and dismissal depending on the outcome of the disciplinary hearing.”

Some cases had been referred to the SA Police Service as well as other statutory bodies for further investigation. Other efforts for improvement included the training of 188 doctors and 203 nurses to manage obstetric emergencies


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