Woman sues Mpumalanga hospital for R3 million


A Mpumalanga woman is suing the Department of Health for a whopping R3 million after a nurse allegedly humiliated her in front of other patients.

It is alleged that a nurse working at the Bethal Town Clinic in Bethal, Mpumalanga, harassed an HIV patient by shouting at her and revealing her status in front of other patients.

A woman, who cannot be named due to the sensitivity of the matter, said she went to the facility on May 15 to pick up her treatment.

“I went to the clinic to pick up my treatment because my HIV blood test results were ready. On the day of the collection, I was helped by a nurse in the consultation room. The nurse told me that the doctor was on leave. She shouted at me rudely and ordered me to sit down and wait until she called a doctor,” the angry woman said.

‘She accused me of not following any treatment at all’

“I ignored the rudeness and the order of the nurse and sat down as instructed. She accused me of not taking any treatment at all. I politely told her that even in the hospital the treatment was changed once because it was claimed that it was not effective, because I also have cancer.”

She said she had to wait a long time for the nurse to call the doctor for instructions about the medications she should be given.

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When the nurse came back, she started screaming in front of everyone, telling her that her blood test results were very bad and that her treatment had to be adjusted.

As the conversation continued, she asked about her CD4 count and the nurse reportedly responded rudely and disparagingly: “The way you are, I can’t tell you because your viral load is too high and if you get hurt and touch someone, they could get HIV.”

She added that the nurse told her she had no option but to cooperate with the nurses if she needed help.

‘Our client even cried when she left the clinic’

The notice letter that Sylvester Mahlangu Attorneys sent to the Ministry of Health and was seen by him The citizen stated: “After undergoing this inhuman, cruel, degrading and unprofessional treatment, our client even cried when she left the clinic and everyone was looking at her because they had all heard about her HIV status.

“This letter is therefore addressed to you, because there is a claim arising from the unlawful conduct of your employee who was stationed at Bethal Town Clinic that day. Our client also filed a complaint, but nothing has happened.

“Compensation and/or reparation within sixty-five (65) calendar days from the date of receipt hereof of compensation and/or solatium for general damages in the aggregate amount of R3 000 000 due and payable by the Department to our Client by reason of the vicious liability of the Department for the said general damages caused to and suffered by our Client as a result of the said unlawful, unconstitutional and wrongful conduct of the employee of the Department as specified herein.”

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Demand formal apology

The woman also demands a formal apology written by the nurse and the clinic management.

The letter stated that the apology must be submitted within 21 days of receipt and must be posted on the institution’s noticeboards for at least three consecutive months.

It was further stated that the written apology should also be published in at least two local newspapers published in the Bethal region.

Mpumalanga health spokesperson Dumisani Malamule said: “We have not received this letter, it may still come.”

The citizen has seen a screenshot showing that the letter of formal notice was sent to the department on Monday.

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