‘Suspend hospital’s CEO’

2015-07-28 09:49
Northdale Hospital

Northdale Hospital (File)

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OPPOSITION parties have slammed the decision by Health MEC Sbongiseni Dhlomo to transfer Northdale Hospital CEO Felicity du Preez, saying that she should be suspended instead.

In the interim, a new acting CEO has been appointed at the hospital by ­uMgungundlovu District medical manager May Zuma-Mkhonza.

Buhle Maphanga, previously the nursing manager of Edendale Hospital, has been brought in to fill the position of acting CEO.

IFP KZN Provincial Health spokesperson Ncamisile Nkwanyana called “for an overhaul of the process” used to suspend and dismiss government officials. This after Du Preez was given a “precautionary transfer” while the Human Resources manager Sibongile Ndlovu was suspended by Dhlomo.

According to provincial Health spokesperson Desmond Motha, Ndlovu had her suspension withdrawn yesterday.

“We demand that MEC Dhlomo must tell us what sort of relationship he has with the Northdale Hospital CEO as he granted her a precautionary transfer while she is under investigation after allegations of mismanagement and mistreatment of staff and patients at the facility,” Nkwanyana said.

The IFP was reacting to a report by The Witness last Thursday that action was taken against Du Preez and Ndlovu pending an investigation by the Department of Health (DOH) into the alleged mismanagement of staff and hospital resources.

“This is an insult to the people of KwaZulu-Natal that the MEC can prefer to transfer someone who has a dark cloud hanging over her head,” Nkwanya said referring to Du Preez.

Nkwanaya called for Du Preez to be suspended.

The DA welcomed the “long overdue measures” taken by KZN’s Health Department, but also said it was “not enough”.

“The situation at Northdale is dire and it would not be far-fetched to say that it is KZN’s hospital from hell,” said Imran Keeka, KZN DA spokesperson on health.

“It is extremely unfortunate that KZN’s Health Department, under the political leadership of MEC Dhlomo, finds it hard to reconcile being an employer and as well as a former liberator.”

Keeka also called for the “precautionary transfer” to be converted into a “proper suspension” until the matter is resolved.

Dhlomo yesterday announced that there will be a health portfolio committee meeting today where announcements will be made regarding the actions they have taken at the hospital.

According to Motha, Dhlomo indicated that when there was an “obvious problem” at Hlabisa Hospital last year, he called for the management to be removed to other facilities.

Some of the Hlabisa managers were redeployed to work at the district office and others to hospitals as Dhlomo wanted to allow the investigation to go on unhindered.

FOLLOWING the article in The Witness last week, there has been a mixed reaction from the public — some defending the hospital and some alleging further mistreatment of loved ones.

Zimbabwean national Strive Chikwanda said he wanted to pass his appreciation to the Department of Health for the way Northdale Hospital staff at Medical Male Circumcision “shone” in its duties.

On July 8, Chikwanda and his son went to the hospital to get circumcised.

After “the most painful encounter they had in [their] lives”, Chikwanda said the doctors made them both “feel cared for and valued”.

On the other hand, grieving mother Nellie Stevens said she is still waiting for the hospital to respond to her letter of complaint she made last year when her daughter died.

Stevens said her daughter, Saloné Clark (30) was diagnosed with meningitis in February last year.

Before Clark died from the disease, Stevens said she visited her at Northdale Hospital and what she found was “disgusting”.

Stevens described how her daughter, in her unconscious state, passed a stool that had messed her hair, face and body. “The two nurses in the ward did not clean her up. they just left her. They told me the nurses responsible for changes were busy in another ward,” Stevens said.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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