Nurses turn mom away

Riot Hlatshwayo

Riot Hlatshwayo

A woman in labour was chased away from ahospital in Mpumalanga early yesterday by striking nurses.

Aniki Ngobeni, 23, was forced to travel to another hospital 50km away where she gave birth to a baby boy.

She had been taken to Tintswalo Hospital in Acornhoek by her partner and a neighbour to give birth.

Her partner, Robert Magagula, 38, of Songeni village near Thulamahashe, said four nurses at Tintswalo had turned them away because they were on strike.

"They were not in uniform, but we knew they were nurses and asked for help because my wife was already having severe labour pains," he said yesterday.

Lindiwe Sithole, the neighbour and the couple's driver, said they arrived at the hospital shortly after midnight and found four "nurses" on duty.

She said when they asked the nurses to attend to Ngobeni, the nurses asked if the trio did not know that civil servants were on strike.

"The nurses said we must tell the government to increase their salaries before they would help us," Sithole said.

They took Ngobeni to Mapulaneng Hospital in Bushbuckridge about 50km away.

"We explained our situation, but security guards wanted their seniors to give us permission to into the hospital," Sithole said.

Mpumalanga health spokesman, Mpho Gabashane, said the Tintswalo Hospital supervisor on night shift was off for the day so he would only be able to respond today. He said the allegations would be seriously investigated.

Recently, a doctor at Tintswalo Hospital allegedly refused to attend to two children, aged two and seven, who had been raped saying he did not have equipment to inspect them.

The department has not yet finalised those investigations.