Nurses fired after birth outside clinic

Elina Maseko with her baby Precious at their RDP home in Mamelodi East. Maseko gave birth to the child outside the Mamelodi Clinic in June. / SANDILE NDLOVU
Elina Maseko with her baby Precious at their RDP home in Mamelodi East. Maseko gave birth to the child outside the Mamelodi Clinic in June. / SANDILE NDLOVU

Three nurses accused of turning away a heavily pregnant woman who gave birth at the entrance of the Mamelodi clinic have been fired.

The Gauteng department of health confirmed that the nurses pleaded guilty to charges of misconduct after they refused to attend to 46-year-old Elina Maseko at Mamelodi East's Stanza Bopape Clinic on June 30.

Maseko gave birth outside the clinic in full view of passers-by.

Kwara Kekana, spokesperson for Gauteng health MEC Bandile Masuku, said all three nurses pleaded guilty and were subsequently dismissed.

But Kekana said the nurses have appealed their sanction of dismissal.

Maseko told Sowetan yesterday she was feeling better that action had been taken against the nurses who humiliated her. "This is a lesson to others so that what happened to me cannot be experienced by any other patient in future.

"They deserve to be punished for their conduct simply because nurses are trusted with taking care of our lives when we are not feeling well."

A heavily pregnant Maseko, who lives in an RDP house in Mamelodi East, was on her way to Mamelodi Hospital when her neighbour's car ran out of petrol not far from the clinic.

She said she was mocked about her age and refused help when she got into the clinic.

The nurses allegedly told her she was too old to be pregnant and therefore a "high risk".

Maseko gave birth assisted by her niece.

The mother of five and her family are now demanding compensation as they believe she was humiliated.

"We're looking forward for a civil litigation compensation claim," Maseko said.

Meanwhile, the department has cleared its staff of any wrongdoing in a matter involving a woman who allegedly gave birth while standing at Mamelodi Hospital last month.

The woman alleged that she was not assisted despite being in labour, and as a result her newborn son fell to his death.

The department said their investigation "found no evidence that suggested any wrongdoing by any staff member and the negative experience".

It said the "family was offered counselling but declined".

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