Negligence at KZN Health Care Facilities Must be Addressed

The IFP expresses great shock at the levels of incompetence in KZN health care centres and mortuaries.

This comes after a Durban family’s gruesome discovery of their daughter’s decomposed body at a hospital mortuary in Durban. It is horrendous that health centre employees allegedly failed to inform the family about transferring the patient from KwaMashu Community Clinic to King Dinuzulu Hospital where she later passed on.

The KZN Health Department must answer the following:

  • Why was the family not informed and given details of the hospital the patient was transferred to;
  • Why her name and progress were not found in hospital records;
  • Why over the period of five weeks, the hospital couldn’t use the details found at KwaMashu Centre such as physical address to notify family of her passing;
  • What was the cause for the deceased body to severely decompose inside the hospital mortuary; and
  • How often are hospital mortuary facilities maintained?

We urge the KZN Health Ombudsman, South African Human Rights Commission and eThekwini Health District Services to conduct a comprehensive investigation.

There has been a number of incidents where families were left traumatised by negligence and lack of accountability at provincial government facilities. Early this year, a seven-month-old baby’s body who died in March went missing from a Pinetown mortuary and has not been found.

These incidents raise serious concerns about the administration and infrastructure in provincial health facilities, particularly in mortuaries across the province.

The KZN MEC of Health must explain how his department plans to compensate people who collect their deceased relatives’ bodies in a shameful state.

The IFP calls for effective measures to minimise medical negligence. Medical malpractice has had detrimental impact on residents in the province and on the provincial health budget.

Hon. Ncamisile Nkwanyana MPL
IFP KZN Provincial Spokesperson on Health
078 302 3991