The KwaZulu-Natal health department on Tuesday said they were investigating an incident of a 63-year-old male patient who died after allegedly being attacked by another patient at Ngwelezane Hospital, Empangeni.
The MEC for Health Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu said: “We are investigating this matter as a matter of urgency in order to establish whether such an incident could not have been prevented.”
On Sunday it was alleged that deceased patient was randomly attacked while he was asleep at around 11pm.
“The 51 year-old alleged perpetrator had arrived at the hospital on Saturday, and was admitted on Sunday as a normal patient.
“There is no evidence at this stage that the alleged perpetrator was a psychotic patient,” said Simelane.
She said the hospital staff who were on duty heard a commotion and hysterical cries, and immediately rushed to the ward.
Upon arrival, they found the deceased being severely punched with fists by another patient. The two patients were then quickly separated by security, and attended to by nurses and doctors. Attempts to revive the deceased patient were unfortunately not successful, and he succumbed to his injuries.
The other patient was sedated and put in isolation where relevant care was given. The matter was also reported to the police and the alleged perpetrator was currently being kept in seclusion, and under police guard.
The hospital has been in constant communication with close relatives of the deceased patient and counselling services have also been arranged for personnel that were exposed to the incident.
“We will work very closely with the police as well as the family of the deceased in handling this matter going forward and we wish to express our deepest condolences to the family, relatives and friends of the deceased patient,” said Simelane.
– African News Agency (ANA)