Western Cape Hospital Rejects Non-Xhosa Speaking Patients

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Reports have it that the Western Cape Health Department is currently investigating the allegation about an elderly man and his wife’s failure to get help from a hospital because they couldn’t speak Xhosa.

It was reported that the elderly man, Roy Retief (70) alleged that he was left with no other option but to rush his wife to another hospital after nurses at the Mitchells Plain Day Hospital refused to treat her because they couldn’t speak Xhosa.

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BuzzSouthAfrica gathered that the elderly couple was stoned while driving between Parow and Mitchells Plain.

Retief narrated that he rushed to Mitchells Plain day hospital when he realised his wife was hit.

“When we got there I shouted in Afrikaans asking for help. The nurse looked at me and said ‘if you not speaking Xhosa to me I am not going to help you’, he said.

The elderly man further related that he begged for help but the nurse demanded that he should speak Xhosa or go and wait at the waiting unit.



Frustrated, he took his wounded wife to a nearby Melomed hospital where she received the medical help she needed.

Reacting to the allegation, the Western Cape Health MEC, Nomafrench Mbombo vowed to treat the issue as a very serious one.

Also, the Mec reportedly promised to resolve the language issue as he specified that Western Cape has three official languages which include: Xhosa, Afrikaans and English.

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The Mek was quoted to have said: “the right to access to health is a human right issue. No person should be turned away when there’s an emergency.

“One can make a complaint immediately. We have a hotline centre where you can use a ‘please call me’ service if you don’t have airtime, or use a 08600 number.

“No one can be turned away from any facility without being assessed,” he stressed.

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