Probe launched at Tshwane hospital after doctor dies of Covid-19

Dr George Mukhari Academic Hospital. Picture: Facebook

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize is concerned about increasing allegations of healthcare workers contracting the virus in the line of duty, owing to a lack of, or poor quality, PPE.

An investigation has been launched into the circumstances that led to the death of an anaesthetist at the Dr George Mukhari Academic Hospital.

The doctor died of Covid-19 at the end of July.

A team has been set up by Health Minister Zweli Mkhize to investigate the matter at the hospital in Ga-Rankuwa.

The chairperson of the investigating team, Dr Taole Mokoena, would not reveal what findings they made during the hospital inspection, but said a full report would be ready in two weeks’ time.

Mokoena and the team will be investigating the events that led to 50-year-old Dr Duduzile Fakudze contracting Covid-19 and subsequently dying.

The issue of personal protective equipment (PPE), as well as the general management of the virus, at the hospital will be looked into.

There were also allegations that Fakudze’s death may have been because of a lack of sufficient supply of PPE and that doctors were made to work in an unsafe environment at the facility.

Testing

It is understood that, as an anaesthetist, Fakudze would have spent most of her time in theatre and that, since her death, there has been a push for patients to get tested for Covid-19 ahead of an operation.

Mokoena said they would also be investigating if there were any other Covid-19 related deaths of health workers at the hospital as well as how many health workers had tested positive for the virus.

Mokoena added that the team had also taken a look at the triage and management processes of patients, who are suspected of being Covid-19 positive, and those who had already been diagnosed.

It was previously reported that Mkhize was concerned about increasing allegations of healthcare workers contracting the virus in the line of duty, owing to a lack of, or poor quality, PPE.

“We have even received reports that some may be dying after being infected due to the lack of sufficient PPE, or due to sufficient PPE not being provided, or failure or neglect by management to adhere to prescribed workplace safety protocols,” Mkhize said.

“We want to outrightly state that this cannot be tolerated,” the minister warned.

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