KZN stops funding hospital

2013-03-05 19:13

Durban - KwaZulu-Natal will no longer fund Pongola Hospital in the Zululand district, the provincial health department said on Tuesday.

The state-funded hospital's application for money was turned down this year because the department's coffers were empty, spokesperson Sam Mkhwanazi said.

It had funded the 28-bed hospital for the past 40 years.

Democratic Alliance health spokesperson Makhosazana Mdlalose criticised the department's decision.

She said a vital health service would be lost to the communities of Pongola, Mpumalanga and Swaziland, which the hospital serviced.

Mdlalose called on the department to reverse its decision.

The Inkatha Freedom Party's health spokesperson Hilda Msweli said 43 people would lose their jobs and locals would have to travel 36km to the nearest hospital.

"Billions have been spent on consultants, R206m spent on Nkandla and even R40m to R140m spent on a website by the Free state provincial government - yet government does not seem fazed at these amounts spent unnecessarily.

"Yet no one can seem to find R3.8m for a hospital to function."

She questioned whether the decision to close the hospital was political.

"Are the people of Pongola being punished for voting for the IFP?" she asked.

Comment could not immediately be obtained from the hospital.

Durban's 103-year-old McCord Hospital was also under threat of closure after it lost its state subsidy, but its doors remained open after a last minute deal was brokered at the end of January for the hospital to be taken over by the KwaZulu-Natal health department.

  • Cabbage Promise Goats Dlamini - 2013-03-05 19:25

    Yes, they are punished for being IFP voters that is the reason. ANC cannot deny it.

  • Bless Boswell - 2013-03-05 19:38

    So, upgrading the presidents toilets and other facilities at Nkandla is more important than the lives of the people who utilize the Mc Cord hospital. The luxury cars driven by MPs are also more important than the lives of the people they serve ... Need I say more?

  • richard.hewett.10 - 2013-03-05 20:00

    The departments coffers were empty? How the hell did that happened - free healthcare yea right for those Who Can walk 38 km

  • Zahir - 2013-03-05 20:30

    The funds for this years budget has been stolen by the govt employees please try next year

  • Adeline Groenewald - 2013-03-05 20:43


  • Nettie Potgieter - 2013-03-05 21:21

    Remember KZN have their Zulu King to feed and he cry: Feed me Feed me al the time. Why should they spend money on mere mortals?

  • Suthveer Sing - 2013-03-05 21:27

    In 1998 the Xhosa ANC closed DURNACOL to put pressure on the ZULU. Now its a hospital-people are going to suffer because of politics-IFP supporters-I hate the ANC because it has no feelings for the People Of The SKY!

  • Lindah Mthanti - 2013-03-05 21:30

    heard that Newcastle hospital is olso closed, things r getting bad. Dhlomo must be fired now.

      Mbele Simo - 2013-03-06 10:48

      Newcastle Hospital has been converted to Mother Child Hospital so is working!

  • Sabelo Lex Mthembu - 2013-03-05 21:47

    I think those with authority relating to allocations and implementation on funding really need a crash course on financial and strategic management. The long term implications of this is not gonna be good.

  • Dylan - 2013-03-05 22:02

    Appalling, disgusting and disgraceful! Serve the people hey? Funny I saw a government sponsored ANC vehicle in that area in December 2012... Remember readers... Remember this saying which you see on all the vote riggers vehicles.... Famous last words '100 years of selfless struggle'. Which really means another years of self enrichment struggles... Sorry for you poor joe public out in the sticks!!

  • del.pearson.98 - 2013-03-05 23:32

    Even the Consultants being paid huge sums cannot help as no one seems to be able to see the big picture. It appears to be all about what am I and my extended family going to get out of the deal.

  • Elvira En Mike Wood - 2013-03-06 05:55

    I was born in that hospital many years ago - it was the only hospit in the area - it would be a shame if it closes

  • jeremy002 - 2013-03-06 06:16

    News 24 would do well to show a picture of the interior of a typical state-run clinic or hospital instead of the nice neat sanitised one on this page.

      Bless Boswell - 2013-03-06 06:54

      And what a sight that would be ...

  • Japie En Janine Horn - 2013-03-06 07:16

    This is so unfair, and so many people will suffer due to this stupid decision. Would love to hear what ministers will say if something should happen to one of them in that part of the country and there is no hospital to go too.

  • Christine Nadesan - 2013-03-06 07:21

    How sad and disgusting. What about all the people that suffer because of this decision! How do the people in government sleep at night, knowing how much suffering they cause? What they did to McCord's Hospital was so blatant and shameless.

  • Trudie Theron - 2013-03-06 07:53

    We just need Four million to run the complete functional Hospital. We ask the the MEC Dr S Dhlomo and Dr S Zungu to reconsider the funding for Pongola Hospital. The community is goiing to die and suffer as well as the personnel that work here. The infrastructure is here with the equipment and functional. Please reconsider!!!!!!! We run out off time, and the Hospital will have no choice as to close it doors after the end of March 2013.

  • Bless Boswell - 2013-03-06 09:08

    Who is responsible for this withdrawal of support for the hospital? Why not have a personal tax enquiry into their lifestyle? If this person is found to be guilty if misappropriation of funds they forfeit their job and any benefits, immediately!

  • Annemarie White - 2013-04-27 19:21

    What are their names? The people who made this decision must be identified. Then they must go to those ill people and explain to them in person why the hospital cannot stay open. They must meet every man, woman, child, old person. They must look into their eyes and speak.

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