DA KZN:  Prince Mshiyeni porter crisis causing havoc

Dr Imran Keeka, MPL

DA KZN Spokesperson on Health

The DA has been reliably informed by a professional source at Durban’s Prince Mshiyeni Memorial that a shortage of porters at the hospital is causing havoc.

While porters’ posts are non-clinical, the shortage is causing medical backlogs as operations are either delayed or cancelled.  With an estimated three such occurrences daily, this is no doubt having serious consequences.

According to our source, the hospital is currently running with a porter component of only 40% of what it should have.  This is outrageous given the impact that it is already having.

Posts vacated due to resignation or those that result from death, disability or illness are also not being filled, with the situation worse when porters take leave due to them.

This has led to poor performance and all-round low staff morale especially with the huge work burden that has arisen as a result of this mismanagement.

Job creation is supposed to be this government’s priority.  Instead of filling “red-tape positions” that create plush office jobs, it should be employing people that make a real difference.  In the case of Prince Mshiyeni this means more porters so that patients don’t have to wait in vain for medical care.

I have today written to KZN Health MEC, Sibongiseni Dhlomo to highlight the delays being experienced at Mshiyeni as a result of this staffing shortfall.  I have also queried the apparent lack of focus on improving people’s lives and health at this hospital.

I will also submit a written parliamentary question to the MEC around the high vacancy rate of porters at Prince Mshiyeni and will request information regarding other KZN provincial hospitals.

The situation at Prince Mshiyeni is, by any norm, unacceptable.