Not all clinics can handle childbirth
The fact that this article appeared in the Sowetan for the second time shows how serious, disturbing and unacceptable this whole situation is.
According to the article on January 16, the Public Service Commission in KZN welcomes the suspension of two nurses at Buxeden Clinic for allegedly failing to assist a pregnant woman who later gave birth in a taxi.
This is proof that communities assume that any clinic can assist with the delivery of babies or any health condition.
In Tembisa, for instance, there are several clinics but only one, the Sangweni clinic, operates a 24-hour maternity service. It has the staff and facilities to render a successful and efficient service.
Any delivery is potentially a risky business as it is fraught with potential complications. So, when nurses insist that a patient must be taken to a hospital, it is because they have the best interests of the mother and the unborn baby at heart.
Proper education of communities about the correct utilisation of primary healthcare is of utmost importance if we want to prevent the occurrence of unnecessary negative health outcomes.
It is also important for communities to be taught about the importance of saving lives of trauma patients by rushing them straight to the nearest hospital. X-rays and resuscitation or even theatre services may be required, which explains why a clinic may only delay vital treatment of the patient.
The most crucial step to be taken by the department of health is proper organisation of its services, bearing in mind that clinics do not have the capacity, staff and equipment to deal with all health problems.
Cometh Dube-Makholwa, Midrand
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