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Mkhize welcomes suspension of Northdale Hospital officials over patient's death

The minister was in KwaZulu-Natal on a two-day visit to assess the province’s state of readiness as it approached the peak of its COVID-19 pandemic.

FILE: Health Minister Zweli Mhkize. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize on Thursday welcomed the suspensions of two Northdale Hospital officials pending an investigation looking into claims of negligence.

Mkhize was in KwaZulu-Natal on a two-day visit to assess the province’s state of readiness as it approached the peak of its COVID-19 pandemic.

The visit came amid a public outcry over the death of 67-year-old Sibusiso Khumalo who was being treated at the notorious hospital at the time of his passing.

It’s understood Khumalo had been kept at the facility’s makeshift “fever-clinic” erected in the hospital’s parking lot.

The make-shift structure was meant to act as a triage area for incoming patients but is said to be poorly built.

The KZN Health Department launched a full-scale investigation looking into the matter.

Meanwhile, with the province approaching 88,000 infections, Mkhize also made a plea for those with co-morbidities and the elderly to seek medical treatment at the onset of a cold or flu.

“If you get flu-like symptoms, don’t wait to come to the hospital because we are seeing a lot of complications when people are at home… people should be brought to the hospital earlier and they shouldn’t wait until their symptoms worsen,” Mkhize said.

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