A family from Mamelodi, Gauteng is seeking answers from the government after their son, despite reportedly suffering 50% burns to his body, was allegedly discharged from hospital without treatment.
The 17-year-old boy was burnt when his shack caught fire while he was asleep.
The family alleged that the boy was taken to Stanza Bopape clinic on Saturday, and he was only bandaged without being given proper attention or pain medication.
He was allegedly told that he should go back home as the clinic was "prioritising Covid-19 patients".
Family spokesperson said Dr Convy Baloyi said this was "the biggest nonsense any medical or health institution can do to a human being".
"A community or a nation is a community or a nation because of the people. Therefore, people must be prioritised and not viruses.
"People's lives must matter at all times and not viruses. It is entirely unacceptable to send an untreated patient home only to die in pain."
Baloyi said he would have respected the clinic if he was told that they opted to "house the boy in one of the hospital toilets and treated him from there, than to discharge him prematurely and send him to hopelessness."
"Covid-19 or no Covid-19, everyone must be treated with dignity and respect. Such a treatment must take place in a clinic or hospital or a designated conducive environment. It also saddens my heart that human life is somewhat less prioritised by some of our authorities, especially in our townships."
He said in a desperate move to save the boy's life, he called a family physician who immediately advised that the boy must be rushed to hospital for admission and treatment, before exacerbating the injuries.
"By then, his face was swelling rapidly and various parts of the burnt areas were bleeding and swelling."
Baloyi said the boy was currently at Steve Biko hospital's trauma ICU where he was struggling to talk and see.
"According to a report I received on Monday telephonically, his condition has not improved. He is sedated to minimise active pain. He is on ventilation," he said.
"The rest of his burnt body is being dressed with the relevant elements. He is struggling for his life. He is struggling severely at this stage and fighting for his life."
Baloyi said he had received numerous calls from members of the public who reported that there have been 'similar gross and deadly neglect of people'.
"This must be stopped. His life matters to me. We want this boy home, alive and healed so that he can pursue his education and realise his dreams."
Gauteng health spokesperson Kwara Kekana said the matter was being investigated.
This article first appeared on Rekord East and was republished with permission.
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