Old Durban Hospital to close due to funding cut

By Drum Digital
21 January 2013

A 103-year-old Durban hospital will close its doors and 424 jobs will be lost following the health department's failure to renew the hospital's subsidy.

Staff at McCord Hospital in KwaZulu-Natal had received notices informing them that it would close in March, the Sunday Times reported.

In a statement on the hospital's website, CEO Kevin Smith said McCord had not received notification of an intention to renew its funding.

"As a result of the loss of this grant funding, McCord loses its licence to operate as a state-aided hospital and cannot afford to continue operating," he wrote.

Comment could not immediately be obtained on Monday from the department.

Smith said government funding for the hospital, which was founded in 1909 by a United States missionary surgeon, would cease at the end of March.

According to a report in the Mercury newspaper on Monday, the hospital received an R89.3 million subsidy from the department.

The hospital was reportedly informed by the department in October about a cut in its funding, and that an attempt to have the hospital taken over by the state had been rejected.

According to the Sunday Times, McCord is one of KwaZulu-Natal's largest hospitals. It has 140 beds and 400 staff and runs the country's biggest HIV care and treatment programme.

When it closed, patients would be referred to other state-funded hospitals in Durban.

KwaZulu-Natal health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo declined to comment to the newspaper on the matter.

-Sapa

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