French prosecutors have opened an inquiry into the death of a young woman just hours after her distress call to emergency services was mocked by the operator, prompting a public outcry and renewed calls for more funding for health services.
Naomi Musenga, 22, dialled France’s emergency dispatch number on December 29 last year complaining of severe stomach pains.
In a recording of the three-minute call obtained only recently by her family, Musenga’s voice can barely be heard as she says “It hurts all over” and “I’m going to die…”
“You’re going to die, certainly, one day just like everyone else,” the female operator responds. She is also heard mocking Musenga’s complaints with a colleague, before telling the victim to call a doctor for a house visit.
Five hours later Musenga, who was alone, again calls the emergency services, which finally dispatch the ambulance that brings her to a hospital in Strasbourg, eastern France.
But she died shortly after arriving from a heart attack.