Health Management

Woman alleges nurses threatened to beat her

Written by Thabo Molelekwa

Clinic nurses in Hammanskraal north of Pretoria allegedly threatened to beat the family of one pregnant woman after she came to the clinic fearing that she was losing her baby.

Pregnancy ultra sound

A Refentse Clinic clinic committee member says that staff have dismissed community complaints about service that led some community members to recently threaten to burn the clinic down. (File photo)

Roda Mashabane was seven-weeks pregnant when she began bleeding. Concerned that something was wrong with her baby, Roda reported to the local Refentse Clinic with her sister, Rezelda.

According to Rezelda, Roda was sent home without being helped by clinic staff. That night, Roda began to bleed heavily and Rezelda said the pair reported back to the clinic the next morning.

Rezelda has alleged that clinic nurses were beyond rude and that one clinic nurse threatened to beat her as she helped tend to her sister.

Rezelda said that she and a nurse became embroiled in a heated argument after she attempted to bring a change of clothes for her sister.

“I asked one of the employees her name is Mamiki which room my sister was in and she (the nurse) started yelling, pointing fingers at me,” she told Health-e News.

[quote float= right]”The community is tired of this clinic. They wanted to burn it and I begged them not to”

“I stood there shocked and asked the question again,” she added. “She (the nurse) said that she would beat me up because I was not listening to her.”

Roda was eventually taken to Jubilee District Hospital about 12 kms away where she was told she had miscarried. Shortly after, Roda suffered a seizure that has affected her ability to speak.

While Rezelda credits hospital staff with being helpful, she said she believed that a lack of attention by Refentse Clinic delayed treatment for her sister.

A Refentse Clinic clinic committee member who asked to remain anonymous said Rezelda is not the first to complain about poor attitudes at the clinic.

“ When I address these issues to the clinic (staff), they tell me that they cant be addressed by an uneducated person like me,” said the committee member who added some community members had threatened to burn the clinic down.

“The community is tired of this clinic,” she added. “They wanted to burn it and I begged them not to and promised that I will find help for them.”

The Gauteng province Department of Health said that staff had not initially detected that Roda was bleeding when she first arrived, according to department spokesperson Steve Mabona.

“She was examined and it was found that she was indeed pregnant, but there was no blood or bleeding detected,” he told Health-e News. “She was then advised to come back to the clinic immediately if she starts bleeding.”

The department has also denied that Rezelda was threatened.

“The confrontation happened because the escort wanted to get into a consulting room of a different patient than the one she brought,” Mabona explained. “She was advised not to do that as that violated the other patient’s right to privacy.”

“It should be noted, however, that she was never assaulted nor insulted,” he added.

About the author

Thabo Molelekwa

Thabo Molelekwa joined OurHealth citizen journalists project in 2013 and went on to become an intern reporter in 2015. Before joining Health-e News, Thabo was a member of the Treatment Action Campaign’s Vosloorus branch. He graduated from the Tshwane University of Technology with a diploma in Computer Systems and started his career at Discovery Health as a claims assessor. In 2016 he was named an International HIV Prevention Reporting Fellow with the International Centre for Journalists and was a finalist in the Discovery Health Journalism Awards competition in 2016 and 2017 respectively. Thabo also completed a feature writing course at the University of Cape Town in 2016. In 2017 he became a News reporter , he is currently managing the Citizen Journalism programme.You can follow him on @molelekwa98