“On at least two separate visits to the hospital there was either no bed or no anaesthetist available to assist in providing the necessary healthcare to Rooi."
AN INCIDENT involving the alleged gross mismanagement of a Northern Cape man, who is set to have his leg amputated as a result of gangrene, has been reported to the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC).
Northern Cape DA leader, Andrew Louw, said in a statement yesterday that Piet Rooi, from Klipfontein in the Namaqualand area, was due to undergo a leg amputation next week.
Louw alleges that Rooi received abysmal medical treatment for gangrene from the Garies Hospital over a period of time.
“Rooi, who previously lost his other leg to an amputation, also due to poorly managed gangrene, was eventually transported hundreds of kilometres to the Springbok Hospital by DA MPL, Veronica Van Dyk, due to the unavailability of a state ambulance to ensure his transfer.”
According to Louw, Rooi’s painful journey first started in 2017.
“On at least two separate visits to the hospital there was either no bed or no anaesthetist available to assist in providing the necessary healthcare to Rooi. He was eventually referred to the Springbok Hospital.
“When Rooi arrived at the hospital, nurses found Rooi’s rotten foot infested with worms. At the time, nurses informed Rooi’s family that if he had received the necessary treatment at the Garies Hospital timeously, it could have prevented the amputation.”
Louw stated further that since April last year, Rooi, whose other foot also started showing signs of gangrene, had been living in unbearable pain and again had to travel to and from the Garies Hospital in a failed attempt to access health care.
“As before, Rooi received poor quality treatment. His foot was not properly examined and he was only prescribed tablets and told that he did not need to worry about the wound on his foot,” Louw said.
“Inevitably the wound grew bigger and more painful. In November last year Rooi was sent home without medication.
“According to a family member, despite his foot being in a visible state of decay, the clinic nurse and community health worker were not willing to assist in cleaning the wound.”
Apart from the ill treatment of Rooi, healthcare professionals at Garies Hospital have also been accused of refusing to provide proper medical attention to Rooi’s wife, 72, who accompanied him on all his hospital trips.
She lost her eyesight in 2017.
“It is unacceptable that healthcare in the rural areas of the Province is viewed with such a nonchalant and uncaring attitude. Better treatment and care may have saved Rooi’s legs,” Louw said.
He added that the party had reported the matter to the SAHRC and to the MEC for Health, Fufe Makatong.
“We cannot tolerate medical negligence that risks people’s lives and destroys their futures,” he stated.
Spokesperson for the MEC for Health, Lebogang Majaha, said the seriousness of the allegations was noted, but also slammed the DA leader for disclosing “sensitive” information.
“As a Ministry, we have noted with concern the serious allegations levelled against our health care facilities in the Namaqua District.
“It must also be noted that the patient information presented by the DA leader to the general public is against the law.
“Disclosure of a patient’s medical condition is a serious transgression according to the Health Care Act.
“However, the MEC has since given a directive to the administration to follow-up and discuss the important details of the patient’s medical record with the family.”