Dhlomo sacks hospital boss

THE manager of the Umgungundlovu district in Pietermaritzburg, in which Edendale Hospital falls, has been removed and several senior hospital managers could face the chop.

THE manager of the Umgungundlovu district in Pietermaritzburg, in which Edendale Hospital falls, has been removed and several senior hospital managers could face the chop.

This comes after the hospital's HIV antiretroviral (ARV) roll-out programme ground to a halt, directly affecting more than 10000 patients.

Health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo admitted yesterday that the hospital faced a crisis in its ARV roll-out and that service delivery at the hospital had been severely affected because of a shortage of senior managers.

"These problems have been caused by a lack of staffing in the dispensing of medication. There is shortage in our pharmacy and clinics. I visited the hospital on Monday after a public outcry over the ARV programme.

"The other problems in the hospital are due to poor leadership," Dhlomo said.

Speaking in Durban, Dhlomo acknowledged Sowetan reports of long queues at the hospital because of problems with the ARV programme.

He also confirmed the shortage of senior staff and the existence of vacant posts. He said he had taken decisive action over the problems.

He said the first step had been the "removal of the Umgungundlovu district manager". Dhlomo refused to name the "removed manager", but Sowetan has learnt that she is May Zuma-Mkhonza.

"We removed the district manager because of evidence before us," Dhlomo said.

Zuma-Mkhonza, however, said she had not been told of any action against her.

Dhlomo said further action would be taken against senior hospital managers whose "failure to do their jobs" had led to the crisis at the hospital. He said vacant senior posts at the hospital would be filled by next week.

Edendale Hospital has 11000 patients in its ARV programme - more than its projected capacity to cater for 8500 patients by 2010.

Last month Treatment Action Campaign said people "were dying" while waiting to be enrolled on the programme.

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