AfriForum reports two state hospitals over treatment of farm attack victim

The civil rights organisation AfriForum will today report two state hospitals with Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, Minister of Health, due to the unprofessional and negligent treatment of a man who was severely injured during a farm attack.

Berdus Henrico (39) was attacked on Tuesday evening (6 February) on a farm near Vaalwater. He was shot three times and sustained severe head injuries, including a wound of approximately 7 cm.

Henrico was admitted at F.H. Odendaal Hospital in Modimolle on Tuesday evening where he was initially treated well. On Wednesday he was transferred to the Polokwane Provincial Hospital where he had to wait in the waiting room of the casualty ward for a couple of hours. When he returned after undergoing some scans, he didn’t have a bed anymore and subsequently had to stand around in the hospital for further treatment. He also didn’t receive any medication for pain. He was consequently transferred back to F.H. Odendaal Hospital, where he lay in the casualty ward for an extended period. Henrico begged the hospital staff for some pain medication, but had to wait a long time before he was eventually given any medication. He then informed the staff that the medication wasn’t working, but they weren’t prepared to help him further. Later that evening he begged to be discharged, seeing as he was in so much pain and didn’t receive any treatment. During the evening Henrico also had to ask the hospital staff – who was busy listening to soccer – to turn down the radio as it was preventing him from getting a restful night. In the meantime, the bullets were also not removed from his body. The staff and security at both of these hospitals were rude with him and his fiancé despite the fact that they were extremely traumatised after the farm attack.

Finally, Henrico was taken to a private hospital in Warmbad (Bela-Bela), where he was treated by a private doctor.

Ernst Roets, Deputy CEO of AfriForum, says that this comes down to gross violation of Henrico’s rights and demands that the Minister of Health personally intervenes.

In a letter to Dr Motsoaledi AfriForum demanded the following:

  1. That a formal investigation be launched into the conduct of the staff at these state hospitals and that disciplinary action be taken where necessary.
  2. That a formal apology be issued to Henrico and his loved ones.
  3. That South African farmers be ensured that they are not subject to discrimination by the Department of Health.
  4. That an urgent meeting be arranged between him and AfriForum to discuss the issue of farm attacks and the Department of Health’s response to the crisis.

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