KZN Health’s Response To Hospital Linen Crisis Hopelessly Inadequate

Makhosazana Mdlalose, MPP

DA KZN Spokesperson on Health

THE KwaZulu-Natal Health department’s response to the current linen shortage crisis within provincial hospitals – by installing small washing machines at hospitals – is hopelessly inadequate and must not be considered a long-term solution.

The department announced last week that it would install the machines as a back-up measure after it was revealed that the regional laundry facility could not cope with the demand after two of its three industrial washing machines broke down and were not repaired. KZN Health MEC, Sibongiseni Dhlomo also admitted that the department had neglected the laundries, with money allocated having been spent elsewhere.

Clean linen is a basic requirement when it comes to proper health care. Industrial tunnel machines operate at extremely high temperatures in order to ensure sterile results. The department’s plan to install standard machines will simply not suffice and is a knee-jerk reaction to a serious problem.

The DA remains committed to monitoring whether provincial hospitals are able to cope on their own. We believe that, until such time as there is a commitment to the upgrading and proper maintenance of the department’s laundry facilities, this service will remain compromised.

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