Hospital chaos claim rejected

THE KwaZulu-Natal provincial health department yesterday rejected reports that the paediatric section of Durban's Addington Hospital was chaotic and was forced to close due to staff shortages.

A doctor at the hospital told the media that the paediatric ward was operating with only four of the required 10 professional doctors on Tuesday.

Health department spokesperson Chris Maxon acknowledged the shortage but said the specialist on duty was unavailable and a replacement was sought.

Responding to recent concerns over the moratorium placed on medical posts in the province, Maxon said the moratorium on clinical posts was lifted last year.

He said to retain the services of doctors the department had fast-tracked the payment of the Occupational Specific Dispensation allowances in the province.

He said the problems being experienced at Manguzi Hospital, where doctors were using fans to cool the theatre as reported in Sowetan, was being sorted out with Eskom.

The situation at Ngwelezane Hospital in Empangeni, where surgical procedures were conducted by torchlight, was also being addressed.