KNYSNA NEWS - A Knysna mother claims she and her sick toddler were not only mistreated by the Knysna Town Clinic, but "chased out" after she sought medical attention for her son who she feared at the time might have Covid-19.
Valerie Stander says at the beginning of last week she noticed that her three-year-old son, whose name is being withheld at her request, was running a high fever and she immediately worried.
"Normally we would just give him some medicine and treat his fever, but because of the Covid-19 virus we were very concerned about him and wanted to get him tested for the virus," Stander said.
She added that she first took him to Knysna Provincial Hospital, on 21 July, where she was told to take him to the Knysna Town Clinic instead.
But when Stander and her son visited the clinic on Wednesday 22 July, she alleges they were badly mistreated and shown the door.
"They didn't want to let us into the clinic, they made a scene and said my son has Covid-19 due to his temperature," Stander said. "I wanted to get him tested, but they wouldn't let me."
Stander claims her son was simply screened by staff and thereafter told to leave before he could be tested. "We have other people in the house too, and we need to know whether he has the virus or not so that we can also be safe and cautious," she says.
She also claims she was told by one of the staff that "the virus is just for the white people, not for us".
In response to these claims, Western Cape Health Department spokesperson Maret Lesch said clinic management is not aware of any racial slurs being used at the facility. "Treating our patients and visitors with respect and dignity is expected from all our staff," Lesch said. "Our staff have been reminded of our policy."
She also explained that the reason Stander was referred to the clinic instead of the hospital, is that "during Covid-19 we are referring patients with minor ailments to their local clinics in order to decongest the hospital".
According to Lesch, clinic management was not aware of the incident before Knysna-Plett Herald's query, but has obtained reports from all staff involved.
'We bring you the latest Knysna, Garden Route news'