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Nurses 'refused to help victim'

Jan 13, 2012 | Russel Molefe |   26 comments

NURSES should fully apply their minds to whether to attend to anyone in an emergency medical situation outside the premises of health institutions.

This is the view of Limpopo health spokesman Joe Maile after residents of Sebayeng village in Solomondale complained of the "rudeness" and "uncaring attitude" of nurses at the local clinic. This was after another resident was hit by a car last Saturday.

Sehlabane Pheeta alighted from a minibus taxi on a busy provincial road that runs through the village.

He apparently dropped a parcel as he crossed the road and on picking it up he was hit by an oncoming car.

Jack Makgasha, who witnessed the accident, explained: "The clinic is almost 100m from where the accident happened. We rushed to the clinic for the nurses to provide first-aid.

"But the nurses were very rude and told us they don't work on the streets."

Pheeta died an hour later lying on the road without having been given first aid by the nurses.

Makgasha said Pheeta was the fourth person to be hit by a car on that stretch of road since last year, with nurses refusing to provide assistance.

"My heart was very sore when I saw him lying on the road with his life slowly ebbing away," Makgasha said

"We have also made a request to the municipality for speed humps on that stretch of road but there has been no response so far."

But Maile said nurses sometimes find themselves in a catch-22 situation because it may sound rude for nurses to tell people in need of medical attention that they "don't work on the streets".

On the other hand, it's "true that the nurses only work in the confines of their institutions", Maile said.

"Sometimes it's not practical for the nurses to leave the institution to attend to someone on the street.

"The people should have carried that person to a clinic or used the same car that knocked him down him to take him to hospital."

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