Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has defended doctors who attended to a Boksburg mother whose baby’s head was severed from its body during birth.

Questions were asked about why doctors didn’t perform a C-section after deciding the child, who had severe abnormalities, was unlikely to survive.

19-year-old Kagiso Kgatla accuses Tambo Memorial Hospital of medical negligence.

During labour, only her baby boy’s head came out, having been severed from his body.

Motsoaledi says doctors have good reasons for the medical decisions they take but he is also waiting for an internal report he’s requested from the Gauteng Health Department.

The Gauteng health department has however pledged to take disciplinary action, if necessary, after it emerged that a 19-year-old woman allegedly watched as her baby’s head detached from its body while she was in labour at Tambo Memorial Hospital in Johannesburg.

DA’s health spokesperson Jack Bloom called for an independent investigation, saying it had to be explained “why this case was not treated as an emergency and a caesarean section performed”.

He said that particular ward at the Tambo Memorial Hospital had been under fire previously because of an alarming increase in baby deaths.

Bloom said: “Baby deaths at this ward increased alarmingly last year when expectant mothers were diverted there in large numbers because the neonatal ward at Thelle Mogoerane Hospital in Vosloorus was closed after a klebsiella outbreak.

“We also need to know what is being done about overcrowding in the hospital’s 30-bed neonatal ward.

“The public needs to be assured that this ward is properly staffed and equipped, with quality care for all patients.”

The Gauteng health department acknowledged the latest incident in a statement yesterday. It said the provincial patients’ safety team was immediately dispatched to carry out a thorough investigation and get all the facts from the medical team on duty at the time.

Spokesperson Lesemang Matuka said: “If necessary, disciplinary measures will be instituted.

“The hospital continues to offer counselling support to the patient and her family to help them deal with this unfortunate incident.”

Matuka also urged patients to report complaints to either the department’s 24-hour call centre, or to facility managers or quality assurance officers at health institutions.

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Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has defended doctors who attended to a Boksburg mother whose baby's head was severed from its body during birth. Questions were asked about why doctors didn't perform a C-section after deciding the child, who had severe abnormalities, was unlikely to survive. 19-year-old Kagiso Kgatla accuses Tambo Memorial Hospital...