THERE was still a long way to go to end the Addington Hospital lift crisis, said the chairperson of the provincial Health Portfolio Committee, Nomakiki Majola.Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng/African News Agency (ANA)
THERE was still a long way to go to end the Addington Hospital lift crisis, said the chairperson of the provincial Health Portfolio Committee, Nomakiki Majola.Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng/African News Agency (ANA)

Addington Hospital lift saga: No end in sight

By Winston Mfeka Time of article published Nov 11, 2020

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Durban – THERE was still a long way to go to end the Addington Hospital lift crisis, said the chairperson of the provincial Health Portfolio Committee, Nomakiki Majola.

This followed nursing staff embarking on a go-slow on Tuesday morning.

Last Wednesday, hospital staff staged a protest after four of the hospital lifts had to be shut down for repairs after water from an overflowing basin flooded the shafts.

This resulted in staff having to use the stairs at the 16-storey building to assist patients. Currently only two of the hospitals’ eight lifts are operational. Majola described the situation as a difficult one for staff and said she understood their predicament.

“It is a very painful situation for staff to serve under the current conditions, especially at a health centre that helps a large community. We can’t blame workers for being fed up when they can’t properly help patients.”

Last Friday, Majola and other officials conducted an emergency oversight visit at Addington and engaged with officials from the hospital and the provincial Department of Health to resolve the lifts debacle.

“We were told the lifts would operate at full capacity once the hospital received the parts it needed to repair the lifts. They were expected to arrive on Monday, yet they have not arrived.”

DA KZN spokesperson on Health, Dr Rishigen Viranna, said a lack of oversight from the department’s Infrastructure Development Unit in ensuring that previous service provider, Schindler Lifts, which was replaced in March this year by Otis, had led to poorly maintained lifts.

“We received a briefing about the overdue maintenance of the lifts, but the problem has been the lack of interest from Schindler to provide the parts the new contractor needs. So far there have been delays and the deadline for delivery of the parts has kept shifting.

“So we are incredibly concerned with this issue and the Health Department needs to do more to communicate about the situation, not only to officials but to staff, because go-slows will occur more often if staff are uninformed, and the community will be adversely affected.”

According to the head of the provincial department, Dr Sandile Tshabalala, efforts were being made to procure the necessary parts. “The department has been engaging closely with the appointed service provider, which has been working flat-out to source parts and ensure the lifts are repaired.

“Due to the specialised nature of the lift equipment, parts have to be ordered overseas. This may affect timely shipping, which is susceptible to logistical backlogs caused by the pandemic.”

The Democratic Nursing Organisation of SA had not commented by the time of publication.

Daily News

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