Gaborone attorney, Ookeditse Maphakwane, has slapped the Ministry of Health and the Attorney General with a P 1,2 million law suit for negligence on behalf of his client, Susan Motshabise.
Motshabise, who was then five months pregnant, on 12 August, 2011 went to Tsabong Primary Hospital in the morning seeking medical attention.
At the hospital, a nurse who was on duty refused to help her and sent her away to register as an outpatient despite her deteriorating condition which required immediate attention.
The nurse allegedly refused to assist Motshabise and sent her away, claiming that her alleged pains had nothing to do with delivering but usual gestation pains which would subside.
On reaching the outpatient unit, nurses there also declined to help her, saying her illness was not for their registration category as she was a maternity patient who should be attended to by the very same nurse who had sent her to the outpatient department.
After failure to get an outpatient card that was required from her by the first nurse she had seen, she went back to her and told her that the nurses she had referred her to had also refused to help her saying that it was her duty to assist. The nurse, however, insisted that it was not her duty to do so.
Whilst returning to the outpatient ward, some nurses realised her condition and decided to give her a bed rest to wait for the coming shift of nurses the following morning.
The patient then experienced further severe pains and that is when nurses of the outpatient registry advised her to walk back to the maternity ward on her own.
On her way back to the maternity ward once again, she collapsed under a tree.
The report later said of the incident: “A male foetus of 22 weeks gestation expelled under the tree in front of old administration offices after being sent back to register in the outpatient department. Third stage completes blood loss”.
As a result of negligence or omission by nurses to take good care of his client, Maphakwane says his client occasioned damages, including pain and suffering with removal of placenta remnants forgotten inside his client by nurses and profuse bleeding and asked for P300, 000.
Maphakwane said that the trauma, psychological stress, anguish, shock, and loss of the baby required at least P500, 000 in compensation.
The lawyer said that the loss or impairment of dignity and stigma of public ridicule, embarrassment arising from delivery in public view under a tree would require P400, 000 and costs of suit.