Pretoria - Claims are being probed that boxer Corrie Sanders was turned away from the Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria after being shot, a health official said.
“Kalafong and Dr George Mukhari Hospitals are the referral hospitals for patients from the North West province because of their proximity to that province,” Gauteng health spokesman Simon Zwane said.
“There is however no policy allowing patients in emergency situation to be turned away.”
The 46-year-old Sanders was at the Thatch Haven Country Lodge, in Brits, on Saturday celebrating his nephew's 21st birthday when armed men arrived and randomly fired shots.
Sanders, who was shot in the hand and stomach, died at the Kalafong hospital on Sunday.
The Democratic Alliance said he was refused treatment at Steve Biko hospital, according to the Sanders family.
“It is possible that his life could have been saved if he was treated at the specialist facilities at Steve Biko, rather than the lower-level Kalafong Hospital which has a poor reputation,” MPL Jack Bloom said in a statement.
Zwane said the department believed Sanders was given appropriate treatment at Kalafong Hospital.
The DA was calling for a inquiry into the matter.
Bloom said sources had told him that North West ambulances were regularly turned away from the hospital.
“People often lie that they have been injured in Gauteng in order to get admitted there,” he said.
The Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) on Tuesday reminded health care practitioners that they were obliged during emergency situations to stabilise patients.
“Section 27 of the Constitution, the National Health Act, as well as the HPCSA's ethical guidelines clearly states that a health care provider may not refuse a person emergency medical treatment,” CEO Dr Buyiswa Mjamba-Matshoba said in a statement.
“The council therefore wishes to remind all health care practitioners of this ethical responsibility.”
Mediclinic on Tuesday said Sanders was never brought to one of its hospitals.
“Many mistakenly believe that Mr Sanders was taken to a Mediclinic Hospital and refused access,” the hospital group said in a statement.
“We would like to state categorically that he was not taken to Mediclinic Brits or any other Mediclinic hospital.”
Sanders, who was nicknamed 'The Sniper' in his fighting days, was one of South Africa's most successful boxers on the global stage.
He won the WBO title and held his own against some of the most respected boxers in the world.
The heavyweight southpaw, who was trained by Harold Volbrecht, fought 46 times in his career, losing only four bouts.