Truly it never rains but pours at the Kuruman regional hospital .
One of the patients from a ward esca-ped around 17: 00 on August 21, 2017 , only to be discovered dead by his rela-tives the following afternoon within the hospital precinct .
Fuming and seemingly perplexed was the family spokesperson Mr Thatayaone Thobega who narrated the infamous my-stery surrounding the death of his late uncle Mr Kabelo Batswadi (48) from Di-thakong village.
Mr Thobega explained that Mr Batswa-di had been admitted to the hospital for lung infection around July 28, 2017. Mr Thobega said that previous to the day that he discovered his deceased uncle , his uncle had just received the routine medication at the stroke of 17: 00 within his ward from Sister Makhasana before he escaped.
Mr Thobega then visited his uncle the following morning. It was on his arrival that he found his uncle's bed empty. He waited and waited, assuming that his uncle was visiting the bathroom. He then approached the nurse on duty to esta-blish his uncle's whereabouts.
According to Mr Thobega, the family's collective intention was to request the authorities to discharge Mr Batswadi from hospital, because he was not re-sponding to treatment and his condition was deteriorating.
Mr Thobega then decided to meet the doctor to discuss the situation. Unfor-tunately the doctor was not there. Then he con-sulted another sister on duty who only told him that she had started duty that morning and only heard that one patient never slept indoors.
Mr Thobega went back to the ward where another patient opposite his un-cle's bed told him that his uncled had disappeared soon after receiving treatment the previous day around 17:00.
Foreseeing the probability of his un-cle's fate and demise, Mr Thobega went to the chief executive officer of the hos-pital to establish circumstances sur-rounding his missing uncle. Taken aback, the chief executive officer then called the ward manager and the sister who were responsible for treatment at 17:00 the previous day. The two did not give comprehensible accounts regarding the imminent catastrophe.
After realising that everyone at the hos-pital was drawing a blank about the miss-ing uncle, Mr Thobega requested for a security guard to accompany him in search for his uncle within the hospital premises. The search started around 09:30 according to Mr Thobega. The bo-dy of the missing patient was found around 14:00 on the premises.
Mr Thobega then requested the se-curity guard to go and call the chief exe-cutive officer and the nurse to witness the tragic scene.
According to Mr Thobega, the two only came after the police arrived in response to his call. The gargantuan question ari-ses, “Does it mean that after the routine medication provided at 17:00 the pre-vious night there was no other routine check provided to patients throughout the night at the sagacious ward in order to discover the patient missing ?
Admittedly, patients are docile and weak enough to disappear unnoticed where care and regular monitoring are not in place. It also means there is no hand-over-takeover by staff at the end of each shift where such lapses could be noticed. Perhaps there is a clause that states that nursing personnel are allowed to have some nap during the night that tran-scends into this tragedy. . .
Meanwhile, the provincial Department of Health was contacted by the Kathu Gazette in order to shed some light or provide comment on the incident. The department said it would respond via routine media release, however by the time the newspaper went for printing, no-thing had been received.
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