Limpopo's Health Department, already facing R4.3b in medical negligence claims, is now having to investigate a claim that a newborn's arm had been broken at birth at one of its hospitals, reports News24.

The parents have accused the medical staff at St Rita's Hospital of breaking their baby's hand at birth. Bongani Mdluli said his wife gave birth via caesarean section on 20 April. He said his wife had felt the birth was not going well, but was assured by medical staff that the baby was fine.

'She was discharged from hospital. But the baby just could not stop crying and after a few days, my wife noticed a swelling on the hand. She took the baby back to the hospital where it was confirmed through X-ray that the baby has a broken hand.'

He said he later visited the hospital and met with the doctor who delivered the baby, who confirmed to him that the baby's hand was broken at birth. However, Health Department spokesperson Neil Shikwambana earlier suggested that the baby did not sustain the injury during birth at the hospital. He said the injury might have happened at home.

Shikwambana said authorities were investigating the matter. The incident comes at a time when Health MEC Phophi Ramathuba is battling to reduce the number of medical negligence claims, which have increased from 179 to 831 in the past two years.

Full News24 report