3 months in hospital with a broken leg: Man suicidal after being bounced from place to place without treatment

An Eastern Cape man who has been sitting in hospital with a broken leg for three months now faces being discharged without being treated – because of a shortage of beds.

Mandlakayise Diko, 29, was admitted to the All Saints Hospital in Ngcobo after he was in a car accident on June 22. He was a passenger in a bakkie when the accident happened. His femur snapped in two in the accident.

He was admitted to the All Saints Hospital, where there is no orthopaedic ward.

On arrival at the general ward, his leg was bandaged with metal used as a splint to restrict his leg from moving.

Diko’s employer, David Mtsi of Abaxolosi Funeral Directors, was yesterday at pains to explain the efforts he undertook to try and get Diko the medical help he needed.

He said Diko was a casual employee hired to erect tents at funeral venues on weekends.

“He is poor, he has no family and he has been in hospital for three months now without being treated.

“He is suicidal and should he be discharged, I fear he is going to do something bad to himself,” Mtsi said.

He said between June 26 and Monday, Diko has been transported between All Saints Hospital and Bedford Orthopaedic Hospital in Mthatha by an ambulance four times.

Each time he was told there would be no orthopaedic surgeon due to a lack of beds, Mtsi said.

“On Monday, he was taken to Mthatha again where he was told to come back after a month because there was no bed.

“While he was being brought back from Mthatha, he was told by the transporting nurse that they want to discharge him from All Saints because they need the bed for other patients.

“They have not asked him if he has a home or a safe place to be discharged to.

“We are going to refuse to take him when they discharge him untreated.”

Mtsi said he had called the office of health MEC Phumza Dyantyi several times requesting Diko be airlifted to Frere Hospital in East London, where an orthopaedic surgeon is available.

“I got a quote from a private chopper of R15000 to fly him to East London but the pilot said he needed a referral letter from the doctor at All Saints.

“The doctor refused to write the letter,” Mtsi claimed.

Provincial health spokesman Sizwe Kupelo said All Saints Hospital only referred patients to hospitals in Mthatha, not East London.

“I am aware of the patient and I personally intervened in getting this patient a bed at Bedford Hospital.

“All Saints refers to Mthatha, not Frere Hospital. I explained the process to the employer of the patient, Mr Mtsi, which he did not accept,” he said. — zwangam@dispatch.co.za

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