Your Card or Your Life – PROGRAM ON CARTE BLANCHE

Date : 09 November 2003
Producer : Carol Albertyn Christie
Presenter : Les Aupiais

Just over a month ago Anette Kleynhans’s brother was visiting her from the UK on her smallholding in Benoni.

Anette Kleynhans told Carte Blanche how she and her brother Louw were confronted by four armed men, who opened fire on them at home. 

The robbers shot Anette’s brother twice and left him lying on the stoep. They shot Anette seven times; three times in the face, twice in the abdomen and once through her arm and leg.

A young neighbour heard the shots and Anette screaming for help, and immediately called the Neighbourhood Watch, who rushed to the scene.

Given the severity of their injuries and not to waste precious time waiting for an ambulance, Gerhard van Seventer rushed the victims to a private hospital .

Gerhard: “The hospital was not very busy; there were no other patients there that I could see. There was one doctor with them and Anette was lying alone there on a trolley, thrashing about. I then turned to the doctor and said, ‘Please see to these two patients. They will have a medical aid; they will have everything. We will see to it that you get the necessary paper work within the next few hours.’

Knowing that they were covered by medical aid and believing they were in safe hands, Gerhard rushed back to the scene of the crime. He managed to get word to Anette’s husband. He then found out that, because Anette had no medical aid card on her, she was transferred to a state hospital.

With three gunshot wounds in her face and two in her lower abdomen, Anette’s condition was critical.

Buks wanted his wife to get the best medical care and she was transported back to the same private hospital. (Anette was on Buks’s medical aid.)

Paramedic on the program said: “From experience we got to know that you have to ask for medical aid. If you get to a private facility and the patient doesn’t have medical aid, they are not going to treat that patient. They are not even going to look at it. They are going to say, ‘Don’t even unload it. If the patient doesn’t have medial aid, take them straight to a provincial facility.’ Which is not always very close.”

It is so easy in an emergency - a car accident or a hijacking - to be separated from your wallet or your purse containing your medical aid card. The inability to produce this information at a private hospital may lead to a delay that could compromise your chance for survival.

On Friday, the 1st of November last year Dr Tumi Seane was returning from work when he was involved in a terrible car accident. Olga, his wife, was distraught when he didn’t come home that night.

Olga Seane (Wife of Dr Tumi Seane): “Yes, we suspected that he was involved in a car accident, although we didn’t know.”

Tumi was an unfortunate victim of circumstance. Not only was he employed by a medical aid company - and had an identification sticker on his car - but he had his medical aid card in his wallet in the cubby-hole.
Olga explained that Tumi was apparently taken to a private hospital, where he was stabilised. The same night, in the early morning, he was transferred to a state hospital. This was done because he wasn’t a known name and he didn’t have medical aid, Olga said.

The paramedics we spoke to have 24 years’ collective experience and told us in their opinion how some of the hospitals react to these emergencies.

Paramedic: “ We had a young lady who was injured in a motor vehicle accident. We took her to Olivedale Clinic. Her friend who was with her in the vehicle was taken into the trauma unit and they asked us if she had medical aid and we said, ‘No.’ They said, ‘Sorry we are refusing the patient; take her to another hospital.’ “

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