By: Natasha Archary
The family of Shonisani Lethole is still receiving counselling following the death of the 34-year-old, who was admitted to Tembisa Tertiary Hospital where it was later confirmed he was Covid-19 positive.
Lethole’s mother is still shocked by the treatment her son received and is calling for the hospital to be held accountable for their negligence. The family briefed the media following a report that was released by Health Ombudsman, Professor Malegapuru Makgoba.
“The care rendered to Lethole was not only substandard but it was negligent. Lethole was also not offered food at the hospital for over 100 hours and 54 minutes,” said Professor Makgoba.
Before he died, Lethole tweeted Health Minister Zweli Mkhize on June 25 2020, pleading for his intervention after the hospital staff failed to feed him for two days.
He had been admitted there on June 22 2020, after experiencing difficulty breathing and later tested positive for Covid-19.
Mkhize then requested the Health ombudsman to investigate the incident. The report details that Lethole was not attended to by a doctor when he was admitted.
The department of health says it will use the report to help improve the patient experience and provide quality, dignified services in its facilities.
Spokesperson Kwara Kekana adds that the department will implement recommendations made by the Professor.
Since the report was released Lethole’s family and friends have started a petition, calling for President Cyril Ramaphosa to take action and implement changes at the hospital.