Zim mum told she can’t leave SA hospital until she pays R7,000 for baby’s surgery; ‘my life has been turned into a nightmare’ – she says

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By Kaizer Nengovhela I Zoutnet

A Zimbabwean woman was left baffled when she was required to settle a bill of more than R7,000 before she could have her 10-month-old son discharged from the Louis Trichardt Memorial Hospital after he had undergone an operation.

Yvonne Moyo’s from Tshikota was admitted at the hospital on 7 February this year to have a lump that had developed in his neck surgically removed. The operation was performed on 9 February, and he was supposed to be discharged the next day.

When she prepared to take her child home, however, she was requested to pay R7 640. She said that she was told that, if she failed to pay the amount, the hospital management would not allow her to go home.


Moyo said that she was very grateful for the surgery that now enabled her child to live like other normal children, but that she did not have that kind of money as she was unemployed. She felt certain that she was being discriminated against because she is Zimbabwean, and said that if she had been a local, they would have allowed her to go home immediately.

“My life has been turned into a nightmare. I have not had a moment of peace since I was told to pay the money. I need urgent assistance and plead with a Good Samaritan to come to my rescue, so I can pay the hospital bill. My family depend on piece jobs and the money is too little to cover medical needs as well,” she sobbed.

When Limpopo Mirror contacted the spokesperson for the Department of Health, Mr Thilivhali Muavha, for comment, he said that each and every patient must pay for services rendered at the hospital.

“If the local people don’t have money, we make payment arrangements. Foreigners, however, must pay the full amount after assistance. In Moyo’s case, she signed an agreement with the hospital to pay R1 000 cash and the balance in instalments,” he said.