Saturday, 02 April 2022 11:06

Rahima Moosa concede patients forced to sleep on chairs due to a shortage of space.

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

@123RF.

The Gauteng Department of Health says it is aware of pregnant women who have been shown sleeping on the floor at Rahima Moosa Mother and Child hospital in Johannesburg.

In a video captured by the MMC for Health and Social Development in the city of Joburg, Ashley Sauls, the women can be seen sleeping on the floor of a hospital passage with little to no blankets.

Sauls posted a video of the incident, captured in the early hours of Saturday morning, on social media.

He alleges that the women have been sleeping on the floor for up to three days.

"I went there immediately and sadly found it to be true. We cannot allow this to continue. We must restore the heart of service," wrote Sauls.

It is not clear if Sauls had the consent of the women in the video to share the footage on social media, and Fullview has chosen not to publish the video due to privacy and dignity considerations. 

The department says the matter has been referred to the hospital's CEO Dr Nozuko Mkabayi.

In a statement the hospital has admitted that some patients are accommodated on chairs.

"The hospital does not have a policy of turning away patients. We receive and treat patients as they arrive at the facility and refer where possible. Patients are unfortunately accommodated on chairs at night if we are at capacity, those that were on chairs in the video are now in beds in wards.

"Patients don't usually spend more than two nights in a chair - it is distressing for both workers and patients as we struggle to care for them as we would like to."

"Rahima Moosa Mother and Child Hospital have seen an increase in patient load with no increase in infrastructure development. With only two maternity obstetric units, all deliveries have to occur at the hospital. Our hospital is classified as a specialised hospital, and the majority of our patients have been referred from smaller facilities such as clinics," said the hospital management in a statement.