Clinic shuts doors, turns away woman in labour
Nthabeleng Moloi alleges that Bethlehem’s Bohlokong Clinic closed its doors and sent her away after she arrived at the clinic in labour. She ultimately delivered her baby by herself.
“I was very excited when I found out that I was pregnant – even my boyfriend was (excited,” Moloi said.
According to Moloi, her pregnancy had been an easy one and she did not expect problems as she headed into the final weeks of her pregnancy in March. When Moloi finally began having contractions – and bleeding – she rushed to her nearest health facility, Bohlokong Clinic.
She alleges that nurses turned her away without seeing her.
After registering, Moloi saw a long clinic queue stretch out before her. She alleges that when she told nurses that she was in labour, they told her not to jump the queue.
“I tried to tell the nurses that I had pains and that I couldn’t hold myself anymore so that they could check me first, but they refused,” she told OurHealth. “I was told that I should wait for my turn to come.”
“(They told me) that they couldn’t just move me forward because all the people at the clinic were sick and that if they moved me forward, they would have to move everyone up (in the queue),” Moloi added.[quote float= right]“(They told me) that they couldn’t just move me forward (in the queue) if they moved me forward, they would have to move everyone up”
Clinic closed doors and sent her packing
Nurses closed the clinic without attending to Moloi, who walked back home. There, she said she went to lie down, hoping the pains would pass.
“I was so confused and I didn’t know what to do,” said Moloi, who went to Phekolong Hospital the following morning where health workers told her that she was not yet dilated enough to give birth yet and sent her home with pain pills.
She delivered her baby at home that night.
“At night, I couldn’t handle the pain anymore – I just had to push,” she said. “I felt a sharp pain, but I kept pushing and I felt something hard between my legs.”
“I was so scared but I kept pushing,” added Moloi, who asked her boyfriend to cut the umbilical cord with scissors. “We were very scared at that moment.”
The following morning Moloi returned to the Bohlokong Clinic where nurses checked her baby and admitted they should have paid more attention to her.
“We were too busy when she came by – I remember her – but that’s not an excuse,” said one nurse, who wished to remain anonymous. “We should have listened to her plea and helped her immediately.
Clinic queue marshals should help nurses implement a triage system that helps prioritise critically ill patients.
Clinic staff said they would being prioritising patients and said that patients who feel that they have not been attended to must file complaints with facility managers.