- North West hospital forces mothers with new born babies to sleep on the floor
- The heartbreaking picture went viral and shed a negative light on the hospital
- The hospital could not answer how many patients they can accommodate comfortably or if they had enough staff to safely care for all their patients
A heartbreaking picture of a woman lying with her newborn baby on a mattress placed on the cold floor of the maternity ward at the Bophelong Hospital in Mahikeng. The picture has gone viral and put the hospital in a very bad light.
Briefly.co.za learnt that on Monday‚ the North West Department of Health had stated that they were aware of the crisis at the hospital.
"There is a planned expansion of beds. The situation is worsened by the fact that Lehurutshe is also referring operations of caesarian sections to Mafikeng due to non-operation of their theatre‚" said department spokesman Tebogo Lekgethwane.
Due to lack of space at Lehurutshe 62 patients were referred to Bophelong in September, 2017, a further 109 in October and a further 127 in December.
Lekgethwane could not give an answer as to how many patients it could safely accommodate in its wards‚ neither were they able to provide answers on whether or not they had enough staff nor if the department had assisted in dealing with the overcrowding.
During the state of the nation address debate‚ EFF MP Delisile Ngwenya called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to address the situation at the hospital.
"As we speak now‚ Mr President‚ at Bophelong Hospital Mafikeng‚ North West‚ their maternity ward looks like where you would keep your buffalos‚" Ngwenya said.
"New mothers are subjected to the most degrading conditions where they even have to sleep on the floor with their newborn babies‚" she added.
Despite the overcrowding and under staffing issues at the hospital, patients have expressed their concern for safety.
A former patient expressed the following on Facebook, "When I was in Bophelong Hospital on the 17th Dec 2017… the nurses told us there was a person trying to steal babies from our ward‚ I had to guard my baby the whole night‚"
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