Soweto woman subjected to ongoing nightmare finally receives help

Soweto woman subjected to ongoing nightmare finally receives helpChris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital has replaced beds in three of its wards to increase patient safety.

A Soweto woman, who believed she would die before receiving life-saving surgery after being shunted from one government hospital to another, has received help thanks to intervention by the Gauteng Department of Health.

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Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital will be doing Saturday surgeries to address the backlog
Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital will be doing Saturday surgeries to address the backlog

The 33-year-old woman, who had been diagnosed with gynaecological condition that needed urgent surgery, was told by one hospital that they were overbooked and could not help her while another told her they could not operate on her as protocol dictated that she needed to be treated at the first hospital.

Busisiwe Agnes Mphuthi’s frustrating situation began when she visited the Rihama Moosa Mother and Child Hospital in Coronationville. She was examined in June and told she had a cervix condition that would lead to cervical cancer if not treated urgently. It was here that the staff at the hospital first recommended an emergency operation for the Braamfisherville woman.

Confusion reigns

Two months later she found herself at the hospital for the second time. This time she was told she had fibrosis. She was referred to Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital where she underwent a procedure to have it removed on September 13. But this did not mark the end of her medical troubles.

According Mphuthi, a doctor who had been treating her for fibrosis noticed the initial cervix condition she was diagnosed with at Rahima Moosa Hospital. The doctor was the second medic to tell her she needed emergency surgery.

She was then sent back to Rihama Moosa Hospital for an operation to remove sores from her cervix that were said to potentially cause cancer.

Back and forth

“I went back to Rahima Moosa Hospital to ask for an appointment date for the operation and I was then told that they are fully booked and cannot help me. I was referred back to Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital,” said Mphuthi.

I went back to Rahima Moosa Hospital to ask for an appointment date for the operation and I was then told that they are fully booked and cannot help me. I was referred back to Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital.

Early in October the scared woman returned to Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital for the much needed medical attention. Again she was told that she needed to be operated on at Rahima Moosa Hospital, where she had been turned away.

Mphuthi says the medical staff told her that the operation should be done at the institution where she was first diagnosed. No consideration was given to the fact that she had been turned away because the hospital was fully booked up.

Helpless and unsure of what to do next, an ailing Mphuthi went home without getting any assistance.

Depressed and desperate

Recounting her experiences of getting the run around from medical facilities, Mphuthi says being turned away from both hospitals depressed her, especially as she had been told that her condition was extremely serious.  With no prospects of getting the surgery, Mphuthi believed she might die before receiving access to healthcare.

However, following queries relating to her case lodged by Health-e News, Mphuthi said she was contacted directly by the Gauteng Department of Health. Officials intervened and she was attended to at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital.

Responding to the matter, GDoH spokesperson Steve Mabona confirmed that Mphuthi was contacted and asked to come to the hospital.

She has since received the treatment she needs.