Hospital denies turning Somali child away

The Somali girl was allegedly refused treatment because she did not have the necessary asylum papers.

The Steve Biko Academic Hospital has denied allegations that it turned away a Somali child for treatment. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - A 12-year-old-old Somali girl who was allegedly refused treatment because she did not have the necessary asylum papers, has made it onto the waiting list to have open heart surgery.

The 12-year-old's brother alleged that the girl was turned away from the Steve Biko Academic hospital and sent back to Kalafong Hospital where she was treated for six days since her arrival in the country.

But hospital Chief Executive Officer Dr Ernest Kenoshi said the allegations are false and that the child was seen by a specialist as an outpatient.

"It was a consultation so she was seen in the specialist's outpatient clinic. The specialist amended the treatment and the child was sent back to Kalafong Hospital with new treatment."

An urgent application was brought to the North Gauteng High Court yesterday stating that the child should be admitted to the hospital.

It's understood the girl has a heart condition and is gravely ill.

Kenoshi said that due to revised treatment prescribed by a paediatric cardiologist from the hospital, she is now almost well enough to undergo the lifesaving surgery.

"She will need mitral valve replacement but her physical condition has improved."

He also denied that R250,000 was requested from her brother before treatment was given.

"The allegation of the requested fee is not how we work."