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Family blames relative's death on medicos' strike

By unknown | Apr 24, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Kingdom Mabuza, Elisha Molefe, Sne Masuku and Frank Maponya

Kingdom Mabuza, Elisha Molefe, Sne Masuku and Frank Maponya

Semphiwe Makhubela, 27, became the first known casualty as a result of the doctors' strike that started last week.

Makhubela, pictured , who suffered from smallpox, died on Wednesday after she was left unattended at Bophelong H ospital in Mafikeng, North West, where she had been admitted on Friday.

She worked for the communications department of the North West public works.

Her relative Thapelo Mooketsi s yesterday blamed her death on the doctors' strike.

"On Monday she told us that she was given only an aspirin and had not been seen by a doctor," said Mooketsi.

National Health Department spokesperson Fidel Hadebe yesterday said: "I do not know of any patient that has died because of the strike."

At least 33 striking doctors were given letters of dismissal on Tuesday. But Sowetan yesterday learnt that the National Health Department had instructed that the letters be withdrawn.

Rapitsi Malatsi, speaking on behalf of his colleagues, said doctors agreed that they were not going back until their demands were met.

Head of the provincial health department Lydia Sebego refused to comment.

The strike had spread to Prince Mshiyeni Hospital in Umlazi, outside Durban, and several other hospitals in Limpopo yesterday.

Limpopo health spokesperson Sophy Sekole said: "We are having session doctors paid on an hourly basis to assist us."


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