IFP: Covid-19 Pandemic is Not an Excuse for Negligence in Hospitals

The IFP is concerned about some nurses at Prince Mshiyeni Hospital, who are using the Covid-19 pandemic as an excuse to neglect patients.

This follows a case where a pregnant woman, Ms Nokulunga Radebe, who was in labour, was allegedly mocked, ridiculed and neglected by nurses at Prince Mshiyeni Hospital, which resulted in the death of her baby. Nurses allegedly said they would not assist her because she had contracted Covid-19. The nurses only assisted her at the eleventh hour, when nothing could be done to save her baby’s life. According to Nokulunga Radebe’s husband, nurses involved in the death of her baby admitted that they had neglected her and did not provide any assistance in delivering her baby.

It is concerning that some nurses are making a mockery of the Covid-19 pandemic and using it an excuse for neglecting people in need of medical care. It is unacceptable – and unprofessional – of Prince Mshiyeni Hospital’s nurses to neglect a pregnant woman, causing her to lose her baby. Losing a baby is a gaping wound that cannot be filled by anyone, or by anything. Nurses who are involved in “killing” people in hospitals must be flushed out of the healthcare system. Our healthcare system needs people who have compassion, and provide loving care to sick people. Negligence has no place in our healthcare system.

The IFP urges the KZN MEC for Health, Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu, to urgently investigate this matter. She must not hesitate to take punitive measures against any nurses that mistreat patients in healthcare facilities. Justice must be served in this matter. These nurses must not be let off the hook. The MEC must implement measures to deal decisively with nurses who are found to be neglecting and mistreating patients.

People deserve to be treated with care and respect. Nurses who don’t want to work with patients must leave the nursing profession, and make way for people who are willing to treat patients with respect, love and dignity. It is tragic to discover that of the thousands of nurses in our healthcare system, some don’t have love and passion for their work but are only after a pay-check.

Further, many challenges at many different levels continue to haunt our health system – to the detriment of those who are yearning for proper national health infrastructure. Administrative incompetence, the bad attitudes of hospital staff and staggering staff shortages are some of the issues compromising proper healthcare in this country. It is depressing to see this happening.

It is unacceptable that members of the public are subjected to bad treatment on the part of people who are supposed to be caring for them. The IFP reiterates its call for nurses with top-notch dedication and commitment. It is not a profession for the faint-hearted.


The father of the baby, Mr Alson Khumalo, can be contacted on 0732405211.

Mrs Ncamisile Nkwanyana, MPL
IFP KZN Health Spokesperson
078 302 3991