KZN health department denies allegations of patients ‘starving’ at Addington hospital made by IFP

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A photo taken on March 26, 2018 shows the Addington Hospital in Durban. (Photo by RAJESH JANTILAL / AFP)

The KwaZulu-Natal department of health has denied allegations that Covid-19 patients in isolation at Addington Hospital are starving.

This comes after the IFP said in a statement on Tuesday that it had been “inundated” with complaints from patients in the hospital’s Covid-19 isolation ward, claiming that they hadn’t received breakfast.

“I have been inundated with calls from concerned patients who informed me this morning that they didn’t eat breakfast, while others ate only porridge. When I contacted those responsible in the isolation department at Addington Hospital, they admitted that some patients ate porridge, others did not, due to a shortage of food provided by the catering company,” said the IFP’s health spokesperson Ncamisile Nkwanyana.

In its response, the department said it was a single person the party was referring to and that the person, who they say is a member of the party, was not in isolation and she had not been given a meal because she was due for an ultrasound.

“Health care professionals gave an instruction that she was not to be given meals until she had been seen by a doctor during the morning round. This was explained to the patient, and is standard procedure ahead of certain medical interventions,” said the department in a statement on Tuesday.

“In fact, when the patient was interviewed by management today, in the wake of the IFP’s media statement, she stated that when she told her boss that she had not eaten, she did not mean this to be a complaint,” it added.