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South African Nurses force hospital to Hire More Staff After Patient Death - News - Nurses Arena Forum

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South African Nurses force hospital to Hire More Staff After Patient Death by katty : July 02, 2018, 07:10:44 PM
The death of a patient in a maternity ward of a troubled Free State hospital resulted in nurses downing tools, as they demanded more staff to be hired.

According to a nurse who works at Bloemfontein's Pelonomi Hospital, on Saturday the woman died when they delayed taking her into theatre due to staff shortages.

She said the woman had just delivered a healthy baby in the ward but started experiencing complications.

"The nurse working inside the ward was assisting other patients and requested student nurses to accompany the patient to theatre.

"Upon arriving at the theatre the student nurses were allegedly turned back and told the patient must return with a professional nurse."

The nurse, who asked not to be named for fear of victimisation, said the woman died from internal bleeding after birth before she could be assisted.

There was only one nurse in the ward looking after the patients. She said the ward was meant to accommodate 17 women, but they have had up to 30 patients a day, with some women forced to sleep on the floor and in the linen storeroom.

The nurse said Saturday's death was the last straw, and the nursing staff embarked on an illegal strike on Monday to force the provincial government to hire more nurses.

They reached an agreement with the provincial health department on Tuesday night to hire 13 more nurses. The nurses returned to work yesterday.

She said at least six deaths had occurred at the hospital since January.

Another nurse, who also asked not to be named for fear of victimisation, said staff members were overwhelmed.

"It breaks my heart to have to talk about this. A woman bled to death because we are understaffed. Even the nurse who delivered that baby is still traumatised," she said.

Provincial health department spokesman Mondli Mvambi said the department had already started to hire more staff when the strike began, but processes were slow because the department was still under administration.

The department was placed under administration in 2013, which means a decision such as hiring hospital staff can't be effected without a clearance from the provincial treasury and the premier's office.

Mvambi said the hospital was burdened because it services locals while getting referrals from North West, Eastern Cape and Lesotho. He said they would investigate the recent maternal death to find out what caused it.

"Sometimes people are delayed for referrals and by the time they get to our facilities, we are unable to assist them.

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