Hospital boss fired by MEC

THE district manager of Edendale Hospital has been sacked - and several senior hospital mangers could face the chop.

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

Provincial 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 the shortage of senior managers.

"The problems have been caused by the lack of staffing in the dispensing of medications.

"There is shortage in our pharmacy and clinics. I visited the hospital on Monday after a public outcry over the ARV programme being poorly administered. The other problems in the hospital are due to poor leadership."

Speaking in Durban, Dhlomo acknowledged Sowetan reports of long queues at the hospital because the ARV programme had run dry.

The shortage of senior staff and vacant posts were also confirmed.

Dhlomo said he had now taken decisive action over the problems. As a first step the Umgungundlovu district manager had been "removed" and an acting appointment made.

He did not want to name the official, saying investigations were still under way but Sowetan has learnt that she is May Zuma-Mkhonza.

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

Dhlomo said further action will be taken against senior hospital managers "found to have failed to do their job" which had led to the crisis at the hospital.

He also said vacant senior posts at the hospital would be filled by next week.

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

"The problem started last November. Surely something should have been done."

Edendale Hospital has 11000 patients enrolled in the ARV programme - far above its capacity to cater for 8500 patients by 2010.

Last month Treat Action Campaign told Sowetan people "were dying" while waiting to be enrolled on the programme.