The family of a Langa man who suffers form epilepsy are desperately searching for him after he was taken to New Somerset Hospital by ambulance three weeks ago and not seen by them again.
Cousin Nikelwa Nguza said nobody had accompanied Mthetho Duku, 47, in the ambulance when he was ill on Friday May 4 but when the family went to visit him on Sunday, he was no longer at the hospital which they are now blaming for negligence.
Ms Nguza said they asked to see the register which showed he had been at the hospital.
“On Monday I went back with a copy of his identity document because we were worried. We also wanted to know how can an epileptic person be discharged without the knowledge of the family. On the same day we discovered that the discharge letter was in his folder.
“That was more shocking because when you are discharged you take the letter with so that it can direct you where to take your medication”
Ms Nguza claimed the hospital staff insulted them and accused them of being reckless for not going to hospital with Mr Duku.
“After a long struggle to get him, one staff member advised us to report him to the police which we did. We had to go to the mortuaries around town, check with those who live on the streets and to Groote Schuur Hospital but nothing. That is why we call for the health department to intervene on this issue. To lose a family member like this is is unheard of. But it shows how hospitals treat us. When a person goes to the hospital we expect and rely on medical workers for appropriate care and treatment. The trust of the patients and their family members is placed in the hands of these medical professionals,” she said.
Mr Duku’s sister, Nonzaliseko Tsholo said her brother was an epileptic who had been struggling with the condition for years. She described him as quiet and said the family was worried about him.
“All we want is to find him. We find it difficult that the hospital doesn’t know where he is when he was in its care. They are liable for his disappearance,” she said.
The Western Cape Department of Health confirmed that Mr Duku was taken to the emergency centre at New Somerset Hospital on May 4.
Communications officer, Bianca Carls, said after receiving the necessary medical treatment, Mr Duku was medically fit and discharged on Saturday May 5, and referred for medical treatment at Langa clinic.
“This information was conveyed to the family of Mr Duku during numerous consultations between the family and the management and treating medical team of New Somerset Hospital.
“We acknowledge the concern regarding Mr Duku’s disappearance and once again encourage the family members of Mr Duku to open a missing persons case with the South African Police Service,” she said.