Table View resident accuses hospital of poor service

A Table View man has accused Netcare Blaauwberg Hospital of negligence, forcing him to endure a “nightmare” experience while suffering from a painful abscess.

The private hospital denies the allegations.

Gian Luigi Pili said he had received stellar service from Blaauwberg eight years ago, but had been treated very differently went he had visited on Monday May 29.

He understood having to wait a “couple of hours” at reception because the hospital had been full, but he claimed he had been admitted without being examined.

“When I was in the room, they gave me a drip without even knowing what is wrong with me, and the nurse wouldn’t tell me the contents of the drip.

“All she said was that the drip is a requirement otherwise the medical aid won’t pay.”

The nurse had also struggled to find a vein to insert a drip and had only done so on the fifth jab.

Mr Pili said he had had a cup of coffee while waiting for a bed only to be told by a doctor later that the surgery could only be done on an empty stomach.

He had experienced severe pain that night, but when he had asked a nurse for pain killers he had been told that all his medication was in his drip.

A nurse had given him an injection that had made him feel drowsy after he had continued to complain.

“I believe she sedated me … to try to keep me quiet,” said Mr Pili.

Mr Pili — who is a diabetic and suffers from hypertension, high cholesterol and other ailments said the hospital had also failed to give him his chronic medication after losing his prescription.

After a three-day hospital stay he had gone home without having the surgery.

Sylvia Ninham, Blaauwberg’s nursing services manager had a very different version of events.

She said Mr Pili had arrived to see a specialist without having booked a consultation and that the procedure about not having anything to drink or eat had been explained to him but he had ignored it, so the surgery had to be postponed for the next day.

“Treatment in the form of an antibiotic and pain medication was administered intravenously.

It is important to note that difficulties can at times occur in accessing veins in instances where patients have comorbidities, such as in Mr Pili’s case,” said Ms Ninham.

The hospital said some medication caused drowsiness and it rejected Mr Pili’s claim that he had been sedated in order to “keep him quiet”.

Nursing staff had monitored Mr Pili’s blood sugar levels and other vital signs during his stay and pain medication and antibiotics had been administered intravenously as prescribed by the treating doctor, who had also ordered diagnostic tests as a result of her discussion with Mr Pili.

Ms Ninham said a list of Mr Pili’s chronic medication had been kept in his file and he had been given all necessary medication, except on the days of his admission (as he would have already taken it) and discharge.

“All Mr Pili’s chronic medication was given as indicated with the exception of 31 May, when it was not dispensed as Mr Pili was being discharged from hospital on that day,” said Ms Ninham.

The surgery was cancelled, she said, because the feedback from the radiology department was that the abscess had started to drain spontaneously and that surgery would therefore not be required.

Mr Pili said he had approached Tabletalk with his story after complaining to the hospital but not getting a satisfactory response.