Five KZN hospitals to be placed under administration by National Health Department

Democratic Alliance media statement by Dr Imran Keeka, MPL

DA KZN Spokesperson on Health

 

Five KZN hospitals to be placed under administration by National Health Department

 

The Democratic Alliance has been reliably informed by a senior source within KwaZulu-Natal’s Department of Health (DoH) that five hospitals in the province are to be placed under administration by the National Health Department in a bid to improve years of appalling services to patients.

The move is also confirmed in a letter dated 3 June from National Director-General of Health, Ms MP Matsoso, to the provinces’ Acting Head of Health, Dr Musa Gumede (view here and here).

According to our source, the hospitals that are to be placed under national administration are;

• RK Khan in Durban;
• Northdale in Pietermaritzburg;
• Ngwelezane in Empangeni;
• Murchison in Port Shepstone; and
• Ladysmith Hospital.

The DA welcomes this long overdue intervention. Our province’s Health Department is in crisis. Yet, despite the DA’s consistent warnings over many years, KZN Health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo refuses to acknowledge the seriousness of the situation. This intervention by the national Department has proved that he and his Department have failed the people of KZN when it comes to delivering a quality healthcare service.

The hospitals earmarked for intervention are indeed some of the most problematic facilities in the province with staff shortages, long queues, rudeness by staff, poor management of patient complaints and medicine shortages. Other challenges include supply chain irregularities, overtime discrepancies and broken equipment. Regrettably, they are not the only facilities in the province that require intervention and the DA believes that this list should also include Addington, Stanger Hospital and St Mary’s in Mariannhill, which was recently taken over by the DoH.

While the DA has been able to confirm that a Task Team, led by a Dr A Pillay and Dr Makhanya, will be arriving in the province shortly we do not have any information around the starting date or the duration of the administration period. We will therefore submit parliamentary questions to MEC Dhlomo as a matter of urgency to establish these time frames and expect the MEC to respond to this at the next meeting of the KZN Health portfolio committee as well.

Why the Premier has not fired MEC Dhlomo yet is incomprehensible and it is time that he and his ANC-led provincial government opened their eyes. It is precisely due to their inaction that hundreds of lives have already been lost as a result of the province’s ongoing KZN Oncology crisis

The deployment of a hospital task team is the second intervention within the province’s Health Department within a short period, with a Treasury team also having been sent to look into the Department’s financial affairs. The DA is advised that this team is currently making slow progress as a result of the huge mess that the Department’s finances are in.

The DA expects the Premier to act against both MEC Dhlomo and another member of his ANC executive who is linked to alleged fraud. Failure to do so will only strengthen our resolve to move a Motion of No Confidence against him.

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