KWAZULU-NATAL health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo has ordered senior staff at Durban's Prince Mshiyeni Hospital to turn around poor service delivery within six months.
Dhlomo made an unannounced visit to the hospital yesterday.
He said he was fed-up with the increasing number of complaints about poor service delivery and the theft of a baby's corpse at the hospital mortuary.
Recently patients were chased away from the hospital's antiretroviral clinic after noon.
Other patients protested outside the hospital pharmacy because they had to wait two to three days for their medication.
Dhlomo was accompanied by key members of his team, including head of department Sibongile Zungu.
"The frustrations and problems at this hospital have featured prominently in the media and through public engagements, "Dlomo said.
"I have also been in the hospital to witness these problems myself without informing the hospital chief executive officer..
"The problems have been so glaring that I briefed the premier on my visit to the point that he shared my worry and urgency in curbing the situation."
Dhlomo gave the area and district general managers and hospital management six months to turn the service around.
"There is a crisis and no one must take the blame . we must work together."
Dhlomo said he was shocked to hear that patients were chased away after noon at the antiretroviral clinic. He said he was assured that this practice had stopped.
He said patients' protests at the hospital pharmacy were also a thing of the past.
The Democratic Nurses Organisation of SA welcomed the six month ultimatum given to senior management to turn around the hospital's service delivery, saying it was fair.
Provincial spokesperson Cassim Le-khoathi said: "We welcome the approach of giving management leeway to put itshouse in order and turn the institution around. There will be positive responses from our members for the betterment of service delivery."