Serious Adverse Events increase in Gauteng Hospitals

Statement by Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Health Spokesman

Serious Adverse Events (SAE) have jumped in Gauteng hospitals from 119 recorded events in 2006 to 229 in 2011.

This is revealed by Gauteng Health MEC Hope Papo in a written reply to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature.

A SAE is defined as an event that results in an unintended harm to the patient by an act of commission or omission rather than by the underlying disease or condition of the patient.

A total of 949 adverse events were recorded from 2006 to 2011. Complaints included allegations of negligence, sexual assault, suicide and attempted suicide, systems failure and errors.

The most dangerous hospital in Gauteng is Kopanong Hospital in Vereeniging. It had 97 adverse events from 2006 to 2011, which is much higher than the 66 SAEs recorded at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital which treats much more patients.

Patients are also at high risk at the Far East Rand Hospital which had 56 SAEs and Tembisa Hospital with 55 SAEs.

Other hospitals with high recorded SAEs for this period include the following:

Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg – 53 Sebokeng – 42 Leratong – 38 Weskoppies – 38 Dr Yusuf Dadoo – 36 Natalspruit – 33 Helen Joseph – 32

The upward trend is very worrying, as it shows slipping standards. This is why medical negligence cases have soared, with multi-million rand damages awards given by the courts.

Special attention must be given to hospitals like Kopanong which have a disproportionately high number of medical mistakes that harm patients.

Patients should be cured and not harmed in hospitals by negligent staff and inadequate conditions.

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