"No place for the critical"
| Monday 30 July 2012 14:19
Apologies from Special Assignment
Programme disruption due to technical glitches. Special Assignment would like to apologise to you, our viewers, for the problems experienced just after our programme started on Thursday night. Our programme could not continue due to the technical glitches that the channel experienced. We hope that you will continue to watch and enjoy Special Assignment.
“No Place for the Critical” produced by Adel Van Niekerk, that turns the spotlight on Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto, will now air on Thursday the 02nd of August 2012 at 21:00pm on SABC3.
A SPECIAL ASSIGNMENT INVESTIGATION
Earlier this month, over the span of three days, three critical burn patients were reportedly refused prompt and proper medical treatment at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto.
In the first instance, Sowetan couple Maggie Molefe and Godfrey Tenehi were critically injured after a fire broke out in their shack in White City. On arrival at Baragwanath hospital, doctors and nurses allegedly refused for several hours to treat them, saying they were too full and the night staff was overworked. After enraged emergency workers refused to leave the hospital until the critical patients received treatment, they were eventually admitted. Maggie is still fighting for her life in ICU, but the 36-year old Godfrey died less than 24 hours after sustaining his injuries.
In a second incident, 50-year old Lorraigne Teixeira was also critically injured after being trapped in a burning blaze in her Turffontein house. She was taken to the South Rand Hospital, but lacking the medical expertise, doctors requested a transfer to Baragwanath hospital’s renowned burns unit. The hospital initially agreed, then phoned back a few hours later to say there was no space but that they were busy resolving the matter. However, after almost 12 hours of administrative bungling on the part of Baragwanath, its CEO Johanna More eventually informed the family that they could not take Lorraigne in. Medical staff believes precious time was wasted and that Lorraigne could have been sent to another medical facility if this bungling did not take place. Lorraigne has subsequently died from her injuries.
Two grieving families are now demanding answers from Chris Hani Baragwanath’s management about why their loved ones were initially turned away or refused admission altogether.
The Baragwanath hospital is the biggest in the southern hemisphere and has the top burns unit in the country. Understandably, this is where most emergency services and trauma workers in Gauteng turn to with critical burn victims. In fact, the hospital serves about six million people from the province and beyond. However, Baragwanath has been making news headlines for years now – and for all the wrong reasons: understaffed ICU and trauma units, chronic shortages of medical supplies and equipment, late payments of doctors and medical suppliers and continued complaints against the hospital’s management.
What is it going to take to turn this hospital around? Does it boil down to ineffective and incompetent leadership?
“No Place For the Critical” is produced by Adel van Niekerk and airs on the 02nd of August 2012 at 21h00pm on SABC 3.
For more information:
Special Assignment office: (011) 714-6757/8
Production Coordinator: Menatalie Van Rooyen – 083 241 7670
Executive Producer: Busisiwe Ntuli – 083 346 7291