Mot­soaledi dis­putes hos­pi­tals turned mom away

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - ANNA WA­TERS anna.wa­

HEALTH Min­is­ter Dr Aaron Mot­soaledi ap­peared to cast doubt on claims that an asy­lum-seeker was turned away from three hos­pi­tals.

The Star re­ported on Monday that Francine Ngalula Kalala, a Congolese asy­lum­seeker, said she was turned away by Tsh­wane Dis­trict Hos­pi­tal, Steve Biko Hos­pi­tal and Char­lotte Max­eke Aca­demic Hos­pi­tal. She later gave birth at Park Sta­tion in the Joburg CBD.

On 702 yes­ter­day, Mot­soaledi said Kalala left Tsh­wane Hos­pi­tal vol­un­tar­ily be­cause she did not want a cae­sarean sec­tion.

“When she heard the word cae­sar(ean), she bolted. She phoned her hus­band and said: ‘I’m not go­ing to have any cae­sar(ean), please wait for me at Park Sta­tion, I’m get­ting out of this place,” ac­cord­ing to the min­is­ter.

But in an in­ter­view with The Star, Mot­soaledi ad­mit­ted he had not spo­ken to the nurse who al­legedly told Kalala she would need a cae­sarean sec­tion, and that he had yet to speak to any­one who in­ter­acted with Kalala there on that day.

He said he had only just be­gun in­ves­ti­gat­ing the sit­u­a­tion and could not draw any con­clu­sions.

“We want to find out whether the pa­tient is telling the truth,” he said. “Nurses never de­ter­mine if a pa­tient needs a cae­sar(ean), so even if a nurse ex­am­ined her, she can’t make that de­ci­sion.

“But (Kalala) says no­body even ex­am­ined her, so if she was told she needed a cae­sar(ean), that would be wrong.”

When con­tacted yes­ter­day, Kalala said she did not “bolt” from Tsh­wane Hos­pi­tal, as she ar­rived at 4am and waited there for two hours. When she ar­rived, she showed a nurse her asy­lum pa­pers, and said the nurse asked, ‘What is this?’

Kalala said she replied, “These are my asy­lum pa­pers,” and the nurse said: “I don’t know what those are,” and told her there wasn’t a bed for her.

Kalala waited in the re­cep­tion area. The nurse re­turned and said to Kalala: “If you de­liver here, it will be by C-sec­tion.” Kalala was con­fused, and said she wanted to be seen by a doc­tor.

She said she was de­nied ac­cess to a doc­tor, and that no­body ex­am­ined her to de­ter­mine if she needed a C-sec­tion.

Com­ing to the con­clu­sion that Tsh­wane Hos­pi­tal was un­will­ing to help her, Kalala and her hus­band left.

Her hus­band, Serge, said in an in­ter­view on Sun­day with The Star, he had mis­spo­ken when he said Steve Biko Hos­pi­tal had turned them away.

He said he and his wife tried to go to Steve Biko Hos­pi­tal, but while on the way, chose to in­stead hurry to Eden­vale Hos­pi­tal in Joburg.

The min­is­ter con­firmed that af­ter Kalala gave birth at Park Sta­tion, she was taken by am­bu­lance to Char­lotte Max­eke Aca­demic, but was then sent to Hill­brow Hos­pi­tal for six hours of ob­ser­va­tion.

Kalala, who speaks English as a sec­ond lan­guage, in­ter­preted the sec­ond hos­pi­tal send­ing her away as yet an­other de­nial of care.

On 702, Mot­soaledi said he thought Serge Kalala could be ly­ing about the story.

“There is some­thing fishy with this whole story,” he added.

Asy­lum-seeker bolted when told she had to have a ceasarean

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