Motsoaledi disputes hospitals turned mom away
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