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One doctor, one matron, 36 pregnant women at Mahikeng Hospital

Mahikeng Provincial Hospital descents into crisis.
Mahikeng Provincial Hospital descents into crisis.
Image: 123RF/Lucian Coman

Private health professionals were called in to assist when the understaffed Mahikeng Provincial Hospital registered 34 patients who were due to deliver babies this week.

The crisis at the hospital was caused by security guards who have been on a go-slow at different clinics, forcing expectant moms to go to the hospital

The hospital went back to its bad state immediately after the military health team which was called in by Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi to help out during the protests against then premier Supra Mahumapelo left the hospital.

During their stay, the military medics delivered over 2000 babies in four months at the hospital.

On Wednesday night, most of the clinics around Mahikeng were closed as there were no security guards, leaving highly expectant women with no option but to go to the hospital.

A source working at the hospital said there was only one doctor, one matron and hospital management staff at the time. "It was chaos, private ambulances had to be called in [to ease the burden]."

He said they registered 34 pregnant women that night alone. "Six babies were delivered at different clinics while three were delivered at the hospital," he said.

North West health spokesman Tebogo Lekgethwane said the department had outstanding payment to Tshireletso Security Services, hence security guards were on a go-slow.

He said the issue was however addressed.

"There was a meeting held with security service providers, guards and their labour representatives and they have agreed to return to work on Saturday. Currently, there is a temporary security arrangement; officials have volunteered to assist in access control at the hospital."

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