MOSSEL BAY NEWS - Leader of the Eden United People’s Party, Adwin Saayman, today lodged a complaint against Life Bay View Private Hospital at a police station in Mossel Bay after several hospital staff members were placed in self isolation following exposure to a patient who tested positive for Covid-19.
However, when approached by the Mossel Bay Advertiser for comment, the hospital stated that it had followed the correct protocol.
According to information received by the Mossel Bay Advertiser, the patient was treated at Life Bay View earlier this week.
Saayman said: “We insist that the hospital be quarantined for decontamination before the virus spreads and the infection rate in Mossel Bay goes up.
“We are also appalled that the staff members have been sent into self-isolation at home, where they risk infecting family members.”
Saayman and another member of the party leadership visited the hospital this morning to meet with senior nursing staff, but Saayman said their queries were referred to more senior management. In his affidavit, Saayman noted that staffers were placed on seven days’ self-isolation and not 14 days are per the legal protocol.
“The hospital is placing its staff and the community in grave danger and should be held accountable for gross negligence.”
In a statement to the Mossel Bay Advertiser, Life Healthcare’s Riaan Croucamp, regional manager – Coast West, noted: “Life Bay View Private Hospital can confirm that two patients were admitted to the hospital with conditions unrelated to Covid-19.
“Following a routine test, which revealed that the patients were Covid-19 positive, the hospital requested all employees who were in contact with the patients to self-quarantine as a precaution.”
Croucamp stressed: “This is in line with Life Healthcare’s healthcare workers exposure policy, which is aligned to the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) guidelines.
“The protocol dictates that any employee who is exposed to a known Covid-19 positive person will be quarantined. When staff are symptomatic, immediate testing is conducted. In any area where there is suspected contamination, that area will be strictly sterilised in terms of Life Healthcare’s protocol aligned to the NICD and Department of Health’s requirements.
Currently, 11 employees are in self-quarantine at home. None of the employees are showing any symptoms of Covid-19.”
Croucamp noted: “Life Healthcare is frequently consulting with government, our doctors, employees and healthcare workers to ensure that our protocols and processes remain relevant for the needs of our patients, employees and doctors.
“The safety of healthcare workers, staff and patients continues to be prioritised and the use of Protective Personal Equipment (PPE) is continuously enforced, in addition to encouraging hygiene practices and social distancing.
“With community transmission of the virus causing Covid-19, there is a risk of exposure to the virus in any of the environments in which people are interacting, including hospitals.
“Within hospitals, that risk arises from exposure to patients and healthcare workers. We implement stringent measures to prevent transmission of the virus to patients and to fellow healthcare workers.”
Croucamp listed the measures:
- frequently washing hands with soap and water, or alcohol hand rub,
- social distancing as far as is possible in patient care settings
- cough and sneeze hygiene for patients and staff
- universal masking to reduce the transmission from any of our healthcare workers, service providers and patients to other people
- personal protective equipment (PPE)
- screening of all persons entering our facilities for symptoms suggestive of a Covid-19 infection
“Employees and doctors are screened when they first enter the hospital building for the day,” Croucamp assured.
“All employees and doctors are required to report potential exposure or symptoms to hospital management as a matter of urgency so that the necessary precautions can be implemented. Additionally, our healthcare workers’ policy on exposure to Covid-19 is in place to ensure the effective management and resourcing of our facilities for if, or when, healthcare workers become exposed to the virus. This also ensures that our facilities can continue to operate optimally with little or minimal disruption.”
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