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The level of corruption at Addington Hospital has resulted in the KZN health department forming a task team to monitor and assist in operations at the hospital for the next six months.
Health department head Sibongile Zungu announced on Tuesday that she, as well as other senior health officials, would spend several months at the hospital in an effort to improve conditions and put an end to corrupt activity.
“There are certain individuals in the hospital who are bent on destabilising the facility to camouflage their own activities of self-benefit,” said Zungu.
“There are more than 15 people, including senior officials, who have been suspended or dismissed.”
Challenges that have faced the hospital owing to problematic officials include the cancellation of surgeries and missing or unused hospital supplies.
Zungu said that elective surgeries in the hospital were being cancelled because they were not prepared for in advance.
“Also, there have been certain surgical sundry expenses that cannot be accounted for and an excess of equipment that has been bought, but has never been used,” she said.
Zungu stressed that there was no crisis at the hospital, but she felt it was important to “take people who have experience in management and place them at Addington to curb the problems”.
She also dispelled claims that corruption was resulting in a shortage of medication.
“It is not that we are short of medication. In the case of insulin, we do have the drug, but patients have to take it using a syringe instead of the more convenient insulin pens.”
She said that ARVs were available for all patients, they were just being given on a monthly basis instead of once every three months. “Nobody leaves the hospital without treatment,” she said.
More than 400 people in the department have been suspended because of corruption. - The Mercury