The family of a North West health department employee says the department failed to assist her properly when she fell ill at work. Tebogo Ngakantsi collapsed and died in the reception area of the provincial health building earlier this week. The family says a provincial ambulance took too long to arrive, forcing them to call a private ambulance.
Qualified nurse and primary health care worker Ngakantsi fell ill while on duty. She died before she could be taken to hospital.
Ngakantsi’s son Desmond Ngakantsi says that the family is disappointed.
“We feel disappointed in the sense that this thing happened at the head office of where you expect there should be nurses on standby or ambulances on standby. So as she was an employee, you could imagine what if it was another normal citizen.”
The department says she did receive medical attention. Department of Health Spokesperson Tebogo Lekgethwane says that Ngakantsi was surrounded by health professionals who tried to assist her.
“She was surrounded by health professionals and we can talk about people who are working on the ground who are dealing with community health workers. They always have emergency kits with them. So even the colleague when she explained they tried their best in terms of the emergency rescue kit they had to assist her.”
The health department has been criticised in the past for not having enough ambulances and properly trained emergency care practitioners. The department receives about 88 000 calls per month. It currently has 64 operational ambulances out of a required 90. It has admitted to staff shortages, but says positions are being filled.
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