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A Soweto family is furious that their relative spent the night on a stretcher on the floor in the casualty department of Chris HaniBaragwanath Hospital with a drip stuck into her body.
A nurse in ward 15 who did not want to be named confirmed that the hospital was facing a crisis with beds.
"About 16 patients in ward 15 are without beds as we speak."
Sihle Tlou, 38, of Naledi Extension, was admitted to the hospital on Tuesday afternoon but was not allocated a bed
"We found her lying at casualty and when we enquired we were told that there were no beds," said her mother Matshidiso Tlou.
She said she had seen other patients who had spent the night on stretchers in the casualty department.
"The drip was placed on the floor and she was bleeding because of that. The fact that Sihle was not the only patient without a bed somehow consoled me.
"If only I had money to move her to another hospital where she could get better service," said Tlou.
Tlou said that the family was told that Sihle would be allocated a bed by tonight and that she would be moved to ward 21 by today.
Hospital spokesman Hester van Heerden said the problem was attended to and that patients were moved to available wards.
When asked why patients were not transferred to the available wards yesterday, she said: "It is a long process and I will have to write it down for you."
Health department spokesman Zanele Mngadi failed to respond to Sowetan's enquiry about the shortage of beds at the hospital.