SERIOUS STAFF SHORTAGES AT UMNGENI HOSPITAL
Two security guards appeared in the Mooi River Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday, August 3 after they were allegedly caught in possession of copper cables.
Captain Simphiwe Mhlongo, from the SAPS KZN Media Centre, said HAWKS members from the Pietermaritzburg serious organised crime investigation team arrested the two men, aged 27 and 37, in the Hidcote area of Mooi River.
“Members received information about two security guards who were cutting copper cables in the area,” Mhlongo said.
“It is alleged that they loaded the cables in their vehicle and fled the scene.
The security company was contacted and the two security guards were questioned. Around 670 meters of copper cable to the street value of approximately R180 000 was recovered.
“Transnet officials positively identified the stolen cables and the two suspects were charged for theft as well as damage to infrastructure.”
SMeghan Coslett taffing at uMngeni Hospital in Howick is in a dire state with close to 50 essential vacancies unfilled.
This is according to the DA in KwaZulu-Natal, which has called for Health MEC, Nomagugu Simelane, to “come clean over what appears to be another moratorium in all but name”.
In a statement, Dr Rishigen Viranna, the party's spokesperson on health, said issues affecting the hospital came out during a recent health portfolio committee oversight inspection of the hospital, which provides long term care and support to patients with severe physical and intellectual disabilities.
Sadly, said Viranna, many of the patients have been abandoned by their families and require 24-hour intensive care.
Despite this, the hospital currently has 47 vacancies, including
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The hospital’s budget has not increased sufficiently to fill these critical vacancies, Viranna said.
He added that the department had introduced a new system for filling vacancies which requires that hospitals reprioritise internal budgets to employ vital staff.
The new system comes after two earlier moratoriums — one on the hiring of all staff and another on so-called non-essential staff — which have had a devastating effect on patient care and healthcare workers’ morale across KZN, he said.
It also comes as the province has been suffering from a shortage of healthcare professionals for several years and while KZN has the highest number of nurse and doctor vacancies at 3 603 and 257 respectively.
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Janice Lawson the department regarding the state of the hospital.
In response, the spokesperson for the KZN Department of Health, Ntokozo Maphisa, said there was no moratorium in place.
“We do have a portfolio committee where all political parties, including the DA, are suitably briefed on all matters of governance, including this particular matter," Maphisa added.
“Healthcare facilities that have the requisite financial capacity were given the authority to fill vacant posts. The labour relations matter in question has been dealt with extensively.
“The labour relations matter in question has been dealt with extensively. An investigation was completed long ago, and the disciplinary process is still unfolding, and should be allowed to do so without hindrance.”