MEC: State hospitals pressurised by foreigner influx
Gauteng MEC says often 9/10 patients are foreigners & some travel during pregnancy to give birth in SA.
JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu on Thursday said the number of foreigners visiting the country's hospitals is putting severe strain on facilities and called on African countries to provide adequate healthcare.
The MEC said this is a major problem facing her department.
Mahlangu said that very often, nine out of 10 patients are not South African, adding that in most cases women, who are in their third trimester take a massive risk by traveling to South Africa to deliver their babies.
"I'm not sure why they have to travel to Gauteng, risking travelling long distances."
She said many patients at the Rahima Moosa Mother and Child Hospital in Coronationville, Johannesburg, are not from South Africa.
"There must be antenatal services provided in their own countries. These women can give birth in those countries."
However, Eyewitness News revealed this week how a Zimbabwean woman was allegedly ignored by nurses at the hospital, where here premature baby later died.
Three nurses are now facing a disciplinary hearing.
The MEC has called on patients who do experience bad service at state hospitals to report their issues directly to her, or hospital CEOs.
LISTEN: Reporter Mia Lindeque tells 702's John Robbie how patients described to EWN scenes of horror as nurses at the Rahima Moosa Mother and Child Hospital apparently ignored the cries of a woman who went into premature labour and lost her baby.
MORE CLAIMS AGAINST RAHIMA MOOSA NURSES
Earlier this week, the Health Department confirmed it's investigating more cases of alleged mistreatment at the facility, with complaints of lazy 'cruel' nurses treating pregnant women like 'animals'.
Eyewitness News received numerous complaints of people who said they've suffered the same trauma from nurses at the hospital.
A grandmother, who wants to remain anonymous, said her pregnant 16-year-old daughter was admitted to the Rahima Moosa Hospital in November, where she was allegedly insulted by nurses for being pregnant at such a young age.
She said it's been almost a year and she's still waiting for a promised meeting with senior staff.
In another incident, Nakita De Vasconcelos said she also had to give birth by herself in March, as nurses ignored her and were racist.
WATCH: Another woman has described to Eyewitness News how she was allegedly the victim of shocking treatment by nurses at the Rahima Moosa hospital, who she claims humiliated her and forced her to lie on a filthy floor.
One woman described to EWN how she was forced to give birth alone in a standing position.
However, there were complications and the child died.
Her son would have been six this year.
She has pleaded with the Health Department to get rid of what she calls a group of 'cruel women'.
In a separate incident, Maymoena Evans believes her baby would have survived in February if nurses had acted swiftly.
Another woman has told EWN how she gave birth by herself and was told to keep quiet while delivering her baby.