The office of the general manager responsible for emergency services in the Eastern Cape has launched an investigation into paramedics who allegedly refused to help a stroke sufferer.
In a video posted on Facebook last Friday, two people can be heard pleading with medical professionals outside Grey Hospital in King William’s Town.
The two, who are cousins, were desperately trying to talk the paramedics into helping their domestic worker, who they feared just had a stroke.
Their pleading is met with unresponsive stares by the medical professionals as one of them lights up a cigarette.
Speaking to News24, one of the cousins, Sama Gezani, said she had woken up that morning to find her domestic worker on the floor. She was breathing, but was unresponsive.
Gezani said she immediately called the ambulance, and although it took a few minutes, the operator said they had dispatched a vehicle.
But after Gezani dropped her child off at school, she heard the ambulance had still not arrived.
Afraid to move the domestic worker, Gezani went to the hospital with her cousin to talk to paramedics.
“I just sensed that I am really not going to be taken seriously. I don’t think they were taking the situation seriously and I could see them laughing,” Gezani said.
They were mocked and laughed at
The paramedics told Gezani they were busy with a parade so they could not dispatch a vehicle and could only help her afterwards.
“I asked if they could maybe just slip in someone. I said I don’t think it would be an issue for them because they are a 24/7 service,” Gezani said.
In another post by Gezani on Facebook, several ambulance vehicles which are not in use, can be seen despite the parade.
Gezani said they were mocked and laughed at by security guards and medical professionals outside the hospital.
“They looked at us like we were idiots,” she said.
Luckily, a woman who Gezani was told was the head of the hospital arrived and Gezani, along with other nurses, chased her down.
“She told me this is what they’ve been dealing with and she said it’s going to get to a point where the community is going to be so angry with them.”
She also told Gezani the paramedics were outsourced and were not working for the hospital.
Eventually, paramedics were told to go to Gezani’s house, where her domestic worker was still lying on the floor.
She was discharged from hospital a day later, Gezani said, and was recovering at home.
Eastern Cape health department spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo said the facts of the incident would be established and an investigation launched into the allegations.