Crit­i­cal pa­tients dis­charge them­selves to get pass­ports

Sunday Observer - - NEWS - BY THEMBEKA DLAMINI Cries Oc­cur­rence

Amother’s des­per­a­tion to en­sure that her crit­i­cal son gets needed med­i­cal at­ten­tion nearly cost him his life. A young boy was ad­mit­ted at the Mba­bane Gov­ern­ment Hospi­tal for an undis­closed ill­ness and prepa­ra­tions to get him spe­cialised med­i­cal help in South Africa could have ended his life in the ab­sence of intervention by paramedics.

This is a sit­u­a­tion which be­fell a mother who had to make a de­ci­sion to take her child off Mba­bane Gov­ern­ment Hospi­tal ma­chin­ery in or­der to en­able him to get a pass­port which would en­able him pas­sage to the neigh­bour­ing coun­try.

On Thurs­day morn­ing, at around 9am, a young mother’s fran­tic cries for help were noted by paramedics who were driv­ing past in a gov­ern­ment reg­is­tered am­bu­lance.

Due to her re­luc­tance to en­gage the me­dia, pre­sum­ably from the shock of the in­ci­dent, it could not be as­cer­tained whether the young mother was on her way to the min­istry of home af­fairs or re­turn­ing from there.

How­ever, she was found near the junc­tion sit­u­ated in front of the blood bank, about 200 me­tres from the hospi­tal’s old main en­trance.

The sit­u­a­tion called for the paramedics to stop in the mid­dle of the road, re­move oxy­gen can­is­ters from the back while as­sist­ing the child es­ti­mated to be less than a year old to breathe.

The whole oc­cur­rence took less than 10 min­utes and the two were sub­se­quently taken back to the hospi­tal.

When asked about this phe­nom­e­non, Di­rec­tor of Health Ser­vices Dr Vusi Magagula said de­spite pass­ports be­ing the pre­rog­a­tive of the min­istry of home af­fairs, pro­ce­dure called for the hospi­tal to or­gan­ise ac­com­pa­ny­ing nurs­ing staff as well as an am­bu­lance to take a pa­tient to the min­istry to get a pass­port.

He said he would in­ves­ti­gate the mat­ter fur­ther to as­cer­tain rea­sons be­hind the mother tak­ing the risk.

The of­fi­cer (l) with two store at­ten­dants wait­ing for more mealie-meal which was be­ing fetched by the man wear­ing a hat while the other one lifts a bag into the back seat.

It took 10 min­utes for the at­ten­dants to nor­malise the child’s breath­ing be­fore rush­ing him to the hospi­tal.

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