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Family sues Tšepong for M21m

by Lesotho Times
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Nat Molomo

THE wife of a Queen ‘Mamohato Memorial Hospital (Tšepong) patient is suing the institution for M21 million for negligently causing his death.

The late Motsie Motsie was the only child of the former Minister of Forestry, Range and Soil Conversation ‘Mamotsie Motsie.

His family now argues that Mr Motsie could not have died had it not been for the hospital’s negligence. It is demanding M21 million in compensation from the hospital.

In her affidavit, Mr Motsie’s widow ‘Makatleho Motsie accuses the hospital of negligence and claims among other things loss of support, emotional shock and hurt.

She is demanding M7 million for herself and M7 million for each of their two children – Ntšieng and Katleho.

She says that the M7 million lawsuit for each of them was “arising out of the negligence of defendants’ employees who were acting within their scope of duty and employment when they medically attended the deceased”.

In the civil summons filed in the High Court recently, the plaintiffs demand that the defendant “be ordered to pay the first plaintiff (‘Makatleho Motsie) damages in the amount of M7 million”.

“That the defendant be ordered to pay Ntšieng damages in the amount of M7 million and that the defendant be ordered to pay Katleho damages in the amount of M7 million”.

Ms Motsie further states that during or about December 2018 her husband entered into an oral agreement with Tšepong Hospital (the defendant) resulting in him being admitted by the institution.

“It was a term of parties’ agreement that the defendant’s doctors and medical staff would provide the plaintiffs’ husband and father respectively with medical services to assist him to recuperate or heal from his sickness.

“The defendant’s doctors and medical staff acted negligently and arising out of their negligent acts, the first plaintiff’s husband and second and third plaintiffs’ father passed away during and or about the month of December 2018 at the defendant’s hospital,” the papers read.

Ms Motsie charges that despite the agreement, the hospital’s doctors and medical staff carried out medical services negligently.

She said that the hospital’s doctors and medical staff failed to diagnose and find out that the deceased had sugar diabetes which they ought to have found out. She said that they therefore failed to check and monitor his sugar levels.

“They unreasonably lengthened time without attending the deceased when he was in coma and they delayed to administer or give the deceased glucose,” she said.

Ms Motsie said the hospital failed to monitor deceased’s health while he was in coma when reasonable medical officers could and ought to have done.

“What the medical officers of staff of the defendant ought to have done was a done by a doctor related to deceased, who, upon arriving at the hospital discovered that the defendant’s medical officers and staff were sleeping on the job,” she said,

She accused the hospital’s doctors and medical staff of covering their tracks by improperly issuing a death certificate that did not indicate the correct cause of death.

According to the plaintiff’s declaration, the defendant’s staff “provided the reason for failure to medically attend to the deceased when he was in coma in that they were waiting for God take the deceased.”

Molati Chambers represents the Motsie family in the case.

This is not the first time the country’s only referral hospital has been accused of negligence. Last November a police officer testifying in an ongoing murder case of slain Lesotho Electricity Company (LEC) internal auditor, Thibello Nteso, said the latter could still be alive had Tšepong urgently attended to him when he was brought to the hospital in a critical condition.  Sergeant Lebohang Ralitau told the High Court in November 2018 that it took about 40 minutes for Mr Nteso to receive medical attention.

Sergeant Ralitau is one of the state witnesses in the case in which four officers Police Constable (PC) Moeketsi Dlamini (38), PC Monaheng ‘Musi (30), Superintendent Tlala Phatela (52) and Senior Inspector Thaele Ramajoe (45) are charged with Mr Nteso’s murder.

Sergeant Ralitau said he was on duty at the police headquarters in Maseru when he was called to the scene of the shootout in Maseru West. He said after administering first aid on Mr Nteso, they ferried him to Tšepong and he believed that the deceased’s life could have been saved had the hospital staff immediately attended to him upon arrival at the hospital.

 

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