New CEO Panajatovic has a new vision for the Msunduzi Hospice

2008-01-18 00:00

The new CEO of the Msunduzi Hospice, Barbara Panajatovic, has a brand new vision for the organisation which is to see palliative care provided in all health sectors for each and every patient who needs it.

Having trained as a professional nurse at Addington Hospital in Durban, and worked as a nurse at Port Shepstone Hospital, she later left nursing to study a bachelor of Commerce degree through Unisa to pursue a career in business.

“I worked my way up from a reservations clerk to a bookkeeper and went on to work for a bank on the South Coast,” she recalls. However, nursing was never far from her heart and she applied for the job of South Coast Hospice CEO: “I got the job and worked there for two years.”

Panajatovic later moved to Pietermaritzburg where she is close to friends and family. This has resulted in her landing a job as Msunduzi Hospice CEO.

She believes that anyone who intends to work for Hospice has to have certain qualities — a medical background is a must, as is being a good public speaker and possessing good communication skills, as well as being a people’s person who is genuinely concerned about the welfare of others.

As for the Msunduzi Hospice itself, she is very impressed with the volunteer spirit of the Hospice. “The organisation is well established and well organised,”

She would like to see an increased presence of the Hospice within the community, as well as more young people volunteering in the Hospice as volunteers in the future.

“I was drawn towards working for Hospice when I was working in the banking field, which was not my ideal environment,” she said. She considers the Hospice environment to be the most pleasant environment to work in. “I enjoy being hands-on and consider it a precious gift to be there when a patient needs you most. Even though I work in the administrative sector, I am not always at a patient’s bedside.”

Panajatovic would like to see more members of the public volunteering for Hospice. The organisation needs people who can support the bereaved and help with homecare. Hospice would be greatful for any financial assistance from the public. The donation of second-hand clothing and food parcels would be greatly appreciated.

Barbara can be contacted on 033 344 1560 during office hours or can be contacted by e-mail at

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