Babies in boxes: Probe shows allegations of serious misconduct against Mahikeng hospital management – MEC

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Babies in boxes: Probe shows allegations of serious misconduct against Mahikeng hospital management - MEC
Babies in boxes: Probe shows allegations of serious misconduct against Mahikeng hospital management - MEC

Africa-Press – South-Africa. A preliminary North West health department investigation into babies being placed inside cardboard boxes at Mahikeng Provincial Hospital revealed allegations of serious misconduct against hospital management.

This is according to North West Health MEC Madoda Sambatha.

On Thursday, Sambatha released the preliminary investigation report that was part of a multi-phased approach adopted by the department to resolve the challenges experienced at the hospital.

Last Friday, the department announced it had launched an investigation into babies being placed in cardboard boxes in the hospital’s neonatal section.

This came after a Facebook post showed babies wrapped in purple hospital blankets, with nasogastric tubes, and placed in brown boxes.

Last Friday, the North West health department investigated the incident.

According to the provincial department, a report has called for five hospital management members to be temporarily relocated to nearby facilities to allow the investigation to continue unhindered.

Sambatha said:

He said the department had channelled skills and resources to augment the operational capacity at the hospital for effective service delivery.

“The hospital has consistently been experiencing a very high bed utilisation rate, particularly in neonatal, orthopaedic and 72-hour psychiatric units. We had to sit down as a department with the hospital management to come up with measures to alleviate the situation to optimise efficiencies at the facility,” Sambatha said.

He said a space audit was conducted as part of the intervention, and the postnatal unit would be moved to gynaecology to allow that space to be converted into a neonatal ward to accommodate 79 incubators and cribs.

“The clinical space will be increased with additional beds; the orthopaedic beds will be increased from 46 to 66 with a separate female ward. An additional 15 beds in the Bophelong Psychiatric Hospital will be utilised for female patients on 72-hour observation,” he said.

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