Durban - THE KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health has decided to temporarily move some services from troubled Addington Hospital to other nearby Durban hospitals due to the ongoing faulty lifts at the facility.
This was revealed by KZN provincial Health MEC, Nomagugu Simelaneon.
The hospital’s failure to fix the lifts has raised concerns about the safety of patients, staff and visitors.
Earlier this month, disgruntled staff downed tools, demanding that hospital management urgently resolve the matter.
Simelane-Zulu said services would be moved to King Dinuzulu Hospital Complex (formerly King George V Hospital), Clairwood Hospital and “other nearby hospitals”.
She said services from the fourth floor and upper levels would be moved and the hospital would no longer be accepting emergency cases.
“Ambulances will not deliver anyone to Addington – they will be diverted to other hospitals.
“During the lockdown, we managed to build new wards and placed many beds in different hospitals across the province,” said Simelane-Zulu.
She said the department had already engaged with workers and unions on the matter.
Simelane-Zulu blamed the service providers, saying they had failed to render their service as agreed. According to the MEC, there was a contractual problem between the department and the previous service provider. This led to the department terminating its contract and appointing another service provider, which started this year.
Simelane-Zulu said the new service provider had encountered challenges regarding the acquisition of new parts from the previous service provider, as they were responsible for making the lifts.
She said they were conducting a physicality study to establish the reasons for the continual breakdown of lifts as compared with those in other buildings nearby.
“We are also looking at both the short and long term to see what solution we may have for this issue. Once we have a proper plan and have presented it to the office of the premier, we will report back on what decision we took,” she said.
The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa said they had not been informed about the relocation of services to other hospitals and that the department had not engaged with them.
Provincial secretary Mandla Shabangu said they did not support the move as most services were interlinked.
Shabangu said such a decision did not make any sense and would serve no purpose.
“This does not make any sense because if you move one service, others will be affected. We don’t know as yet what services will be moved.
“The moving of services will delay the process of getting medical attention to patients,” he said.