Phalala Fund headache in Moza
Emaswati transferred to other countries through Phalala Fund for medical help face language barriers which may result in them not getting desired assistance.
The language barrier has allegedly resulted in a Li s wati who was t a ken to Mozambique dying while undergoing an eye operation a few weeks ago.
A relative to the deceased person said she was sent to Maputo to an eye specialist, but she never made it back alive.
Reports state that there is a post-mortem report, this publication could not ascertain its authenticity as it was not confirmed as official.
Previously, the perception was that locals were only transferred to South African hospitals for specialist care; however, a sizeable number are also taken to neighbouring Mozambique.
As such, a Senior Prince was until two months ago treated in Mozambique until he succumbed to an illness. Several other royal family members make regular visits to Maputo where they get specialist care as do ordinary members of the pub- lic. Of note, the majority of patients who are taken to Mozambique are those who need eye care.
The country l ost services of world acclaimed high – tech eye specialist after they made losses due to the fact that there was not enough business to sustain investment. The specialists came to the country in 2016.
While South African hospitals have become reluctant to service locals due to failure by Phalala Fund to pay debts, the traffic to Mozambique is said to have increased.
In June, Phalala Fund was reportedly owing South African’s medical centres about E96 715 000.
Mozambique has several official languages such as Shangaan and Portuguese and these are not easily understood by locals as they only speak in English and Siswati.
Addressing the issue, Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Health Dr Simon Zwane said they were concerned by failure to treat Emaswati of their diseases in the country.
He acknowledged that once patients get referred to other countries, language barrier was one of the challenges they faced.
“We are not saying that the patients are being killed by the language barrier but you may find that due to communication breakdown some assistance may not be given accordingly,” Zwane explained.
He mentioned that when a health practitioner attends to a patient; communication was significant as they have to be on the same page on proceedings. He said this predicament faced was due to the fact that the country was currently incapable of offering all medical services.
When asked about the number of patients who died while in Mozambique for medical attention, Dr Zwane said the incident of the woman who died while undergoing treatment in Mozambique was a first one.
He added that he had not received the report about the death of the woman; as he expected to have it tomorrow.
He pointed out that most patients sent to Mozambique are those who needed to be attended to by eye specialists.
On the other hand, reports that the country has s i g ned a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with India have emerged. It was reported that patients would in the future be transferred to India for medical attention.