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Hospitals need extra cash - DA

By Mary Papayya | Jan 26, 2010 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

THE Democratic Alliance has called for "hard cuts" in KwaZulu-Natal's budget so that hospitals in the province could benefit.

Provincial DA leader John Steenhuisen was commenting after his visit to Durban's Addington Hospital yesterday.

He said key posts at the hospital were vacant due to a forensic investigation undertaken by the provincial government.

Steenhuisen said while the province was seeing "soft cuts", over expenditure on gatherings and gifts, certain government departments were "chewing into the core budgets of the province and resulting in over-expenditure".

The hospital's paediatric section was thrown into chaos and closed due to staff shortages.

A doctor said the hospital's paediatric ward was operating with only four of the required 10 doctors.

Steenhuisen said he was pleased to note that four posts in the paediatric ward had been filled.

"While this is good news, a lot more has to be done. The hospital has 96 posts, of which only 43 have been unfrozen," he said.

"We need hard cuts in spending and redirecting those monies to the state hospitals so that moratoriums on staff vacancies can be lifted and the monies can be put into filling the posts."

Steenhuisen said it was unfortunate that the current provincial health leadership was suffering as a result of wasteful expenditure under the previous management.

"The few doctors and nurses who choose to stay in our state hospitals are doing so out of a love for the medical profession and a sense of public duty," he said.

Also under strain were the staff at Manguzi Hospital in northern KwaZulu-Natal, where doctors used fans to cool the theatre and Ngwelezane Hospital in Empangeni, where surgical procedures were conducted by torchlight.

These concerns were receiving attention from Eskom and the provincial health department.


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