Officials have been sent to round up 18 tuberculosis patients
who absconded from a Port Elizabeth hospital, the Eastern Cape
health department said on Monday.
Spokesman Sizwe Kupelo said a total of 21 patients, all of them
drug-resistant, left the Jose Pearson TB hospital on Friday afternoon, following a weather-related power failure in that part of the city.
Though the hospital's emergency generator had kicked in, it was
able to supply only "critical areas" of the hospital. The patients protested immediately, he said.
”Unfortunately as management was trying to explain the situation
they demanded to be discharged, saying they cannot remain in the
dark," he said.
’Unfair to expose relatives’
He said three of the 21 returned to the hospital on Monday
morning. The department had sent officials to find the others, who all
lived in Port Elizabeth.
Kupelo appealed to them to go back to the hospital. "It's not acceptable for them to continue to put the lives of their relatives at risk," he said. – (Sapa, June 2009)
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