Sunday, 14 April, 2024
HomeSouth AfricaWoman gives birth in taxi after clinic admission is refused

Woman gives birth in taxi after clinic admission is refused

Two nurses from Buxedene Clinic, near Nongoma in KwaZulu-Natal, have been suspended for allegedly failing to assist a pregnant woman who then gave birth in a taxi at the side of the road, reports News24.

KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu is quoted in the report as saying: "The nurses have been accused of not only denying that the young woman was about to go into labour, but of being dismissive and using rude language, and also refusing to call an ambulance." Simelane-Zulu said the suspension would "enable the investigation to take place without hindrance".

"Without pronouncing on the innocence or guilt of the accused, we hope that this swift and decisive action will send a strong message. We want all healthcare professionals who are planning to mistreat patients to be clear that they will not get away with it.

"Patients, just like healthcare workers, have rights which must be protected, respected and upheld at all times. If you misbehave, there will be consequences."

The taxi driver who helped the pregnant woman is being hailed as a hero, reports The Citizen. Nhlonipho Zulu, 31, was travelling from Richards Bay to Nongoma, concluding his shift on Wednesday night when an eight-month pregnant passenger said she was going into labour. With two other passengers also in his taxi, Zulu hastily dropped them off and rushed the woman, in her early 20s, to the nearest clinic. Health Department spokesperson Agiza Hlongwane said upon examining her, the nurses at Buxedene Clinic allegedly disputed that she was about to go into labour.

Simelane-Zulu lauded Zulu, saying his actions were “nothing short of heroic”. “He could have just left her at the clinic and continued minding his own business. But instead, he forgot about all his commitments and stayed the course until the very end. Anything could have happened while he was rushing her to hospital, even a possible loss of life.”

Simelane-Zulu said in the report that she was also “extremely concerned” by the conduct of the nursing staff. “Clearly, something has gone horribly wrong when a person in such a delicate life-and-death situation is subjected to this kind of treatment. Front line healthcare workers must always remember that they have a responsibility to save lives.”

[link url=""]News24 report[/link]

[link url=""]The Citizen report[/link]

MedicalBrief — our free weekly e-newsletter

We'd appreciate as much information as possible, however only an email address is required.