Investigation commences at Helen Joseph Hospital by the Gauteng Department of Health over the death of a patient, Sichelesile Dube, 26, who was allegedly neglected and ignored at the same spot in the waiting room for 24 hours till she died.
“The department has noted with sadness the reported incident of the death of a 26-year-old patient at Helen Joseph Hospital. An update will be provided … We wish to convey our sincere condolences to the patient’s family,” said departmental spokesperson Motatalele Modiba.
According to the mother of the deceased, she had arrived Helen Joseph’s hospital with her daughter at 1p.m on July 26 but was told to wait for a doctor. She was however asked to leave the hospital by 9p.m, claiming her daughter will be admitted because the hospital does not allow escorts at that time. Dube said she left and arrived the next day at 5pm only to see her daughter on a wheelchair still at the same spot she left her, dead for probably a while.
“I requested to stay overnight with my daughter because she could not do anything for herself, but I was told that the hospital did not allow escorts at that time and I should either wait outside or go home,” said Dube.
Dube explained that Sichelesile’s mouth and eyes were open. “I called her by her name and she was not responding. I tried moving her from the chair, but her body was tense, which to me was an indication that she had been dead for a while.
“I tried asking a nurse for her help, because I hoped that she was not yet dead, but the nurse told me that she was busy. I begged her for a second time, but she insisted that she was busy and could not attend to my daughter.”
In tears, Dube urged others to be careful and always endeavour to check on their wards in the hospital.
“Please check on your loved ones at Helen Joseph Hospital,” Dube said.