Mark Steele, MPP
DA KZN Alternate Spokesperson on Health
Management within KwaZulu-Natal’s Health department must seriously consider leasing Mc Cords Hospital given the looming shortage of public health care facilities in the greater Durban area.
Reports that Mc Cords is to close, after the provincial health department withdrew its subsidy, come just days after it was disclosed that Durban’s Addington hospital is scheduled to shut down for the next five years for a complete overhaul.
The DA believes that the simultaneous closure of two major hospitals in the Durban area will have a severe impact on the many people reliant on the public health care system. We acknowledge that the department has in fact been subsidising more in terms of cost per patient than at any other public healthcare facility. We also acknowledge that Mc Cords received notice a year ago that, should the situation not improve, the subsidy would have to be withdrawn. While it is undeniable that Mc Cords had become a financial drain on the provincial health department, officials cannot simply turn their backs and walk away.
That the department and Mc Cords management were not able to resolve the problems at Mc Cords is deeply disappointing. But for now, the most pressing concern is whether this institution can be saved. The DA calls on KZN Health MEC, Sibongiseni Dhlomo and his senior management to seriously consider a short to medium term lease of Mc Cords so that this facility is not lost completely.