Health Minister says Congolese mom was not turned away at govt hospitals

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has refuted claims reports that DRC immigrant Francine Kalala was turned away by three government hospitals before giving birth at Park Station last week.

According to reports, Kalala was rushing to get help at the Edenvale hospital in Johannesburg, after government hospitals in Pretoria, among them Tshwane Hospital and Steve Biko Academic Hospital, refused to assist her.

READ: "Refugees and asylum seekers may not be refused emergency medical treatment"

Motsoaledi says however, that there is no record of this.

When I saw this story in both the Star and Pretoria news I was shocked and very angry because this was giving the impression that we do not treat foreign nationals very well, especially asylum seekers.

Aaron Mostoaledi, Health Minister

In some months we treat or deliver foreign nationals than South Africans, in fact I took statistics from Charlotte Maxeke from January, February, March to May. The total of people delivered in Charlotte Maxeke alone was 3 580, 1 691 are foreign nationals.

Aaron Mostoaledi, Health Minister

He says the trouble she experienced had nothing to do with her nationality.

Immediately I read the story, I phoned Steve Biko Academic Hospital. They check all their records, they could not find such a patient. They even went to the CCTV camera and they saw nothing.

Aaron Mostoaledi, Health Minister

When I was investigating, the MEC in Gauteng was also acting. Her quality assurance team got the number of this patient. She said she has never been to Steve Biko Academic Hospital at all.

Aaron Mostoaledi, Health Minister

In her own account nobody turned her away from Tshwane. What she reports is that one nurse was very rude to her and while she was being rude at one stage she mentioned the possibility that she might go into a caesarean. She said she heard the word cesarean , she bolted out, she called her husband and said I am not going to have any caesarean, please wait for me at Park Station I am getting out of this place.

Aaron Mostoaledi, Health Minister

While she was on her way to Edenvale she then delivered, she was taken by ambulance to Charlotte Maxeke. At Charlotte Maxeke she was welcomed and assisted by an advance midwife who examined her, her maternity record and concluded that she just needs a mandatory six hour observation. You cannot do a six hour observation at an academic hospital labor ward.. so she sent her to Hillbrow.

Aaron Mostoaledi, Health Minister

Motsoaledi says he is still investigating the matter to establish how these events were incorrectly reported.

It might also be the husband who according to me seems like a very flamboyant chap, I am sorry to say but there is something very fishy about this story....

Aaron Mostoaledi, Health Minister

Click on the link below to listen to the full audio....

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