KZN health dept takes over mission hospital

2017-10-09 19:13
KZN Health MEC, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo. (Supplied)

KZN Health MEC, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo. (Supplied)

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Durban – Despite its recent health crisis and supply chain woes, the Department of Health in KwaZulu-Natal says that it will efficiently and responsibly take over the Saint Mary’s Mission Hospital in Marianhill, Durban.

MEC for Health Sibongiseni Dhlomo on Monday announced that the department had taken over the running of the 200-bed hospital, which was established in 1927, from October 1.

The hospital, which was previously run by a church and serves a populace of three million people, met with the department last year after it ran into financial troubles.

Dhlomo said shutting down the hospital would have left a massive gap in much needed public health services in the area.

"It would have spelt disaster as it would have severely compromised access to healthcare services."

According to Dhlomo, the recent crisis the department had experienced would not affect the running of the hospital. A damning report by the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) found that the department failed its cancer patients.

The 68-page SAHRC report found that the "delays in the provision of‚ and in some cases the denial of‚ oncology services to cancer patients‚ some of whom are destitute and in need of health care‚ affects them in a most fundamental way".

Dhlomo has publicly stated that poor human resources and supply chain management largely contributed to the crisis. The province was left with no oncologists and gaps in upper management this year.

Treasury and cabinet are aware of take over

Dhlomo said that the provincial cabinet and Treasury were well aware of the take over of Saint Mary’s saying the decision was taken in April.

"Cabinet has endorsed this."

He, however, conceded that treasury had identified issues within the department and was consistently working closely with them on finding solutions.

"We have accepted that treasury has come in to say [we] are very weak when it comes to financial management and that we are weak with supply chain."

Dhlomo said the department had committed R11.4m toward the purchase of moveable assets at the facility at a tender auction in September.

He said the land and buildings for the hospital would be purchased by the department for R142m. Most of the staff at the hospital would also be retained.

Read more on:    durban  |  health

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