IFP: Thirty-three nurses looking after nine patients at St Francis Hospital

Mrs Ncamisile Nkwanyana, MPL
IFP KZN Provincial Spokesperson on Health


The IFP demands answers from the KZN MEC of Health, Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu about the empty St Francis Hospital in Mahlabathini, Zululand District.

After being inundated by phone calls from concerned community members the IFP conducted an unannounced oversight visit at St Francis Hospital where it discovered the following shocking findings at St Francis hospital:

  1. Sixteen Professional Nurses
  2. Three Nurse Assistants
  3. Fourteen Staff Nurses
  4. District office took all equipment and transferred it to Nkonjeni Hospital
  5. No doctors
  6. No ambulances
  7. Three general patients and six mentally ill patients
  8. Unused stock of medicine in the hospital pharmacy.

These findings are completely shocking to us as the IFP. But what disturbs us the most is that 33 nurses are looking after only nine patients in the whole hospital when many other hospitals are overcrowded in this province. It does not make any sense to us that a government facility would rather have no patients and equipment while the nurses get monthly payment from the government to do their jobs everyday. If there is an oversupply, we would expect the Provincial Health MEC to relocate the nurses to where they are mostly needed. Nurses are not admitting patients because there are no doctors.

The IFP calls on the KZN MEC of Health, Nomagugu Simelane Zulu to tell the public what is happening about St Francis Hospital because this cannot be normal. Nurses are coming to work every day but doing nothing even those who work night shifts.

The pharmacy is full of medicine but there are no patients who can use the medicine. This is negligence and wasteful expenditure by the department. What will happen to these medications if they reach their expiry dates unused?

What is also perplexing is that there are doctors who are staying in doctors’ quarters in St Francis Hospital premises who are not willing to assist the few available patients claiming that they are employed by the Nkonjeni Hospital not by St Francis Hospital.

This is the pure abuse of public funds. The MEC must address this issue without any further delay. People are complaining that they don’t want to be transferred to Nkonjeni Hospital because medical staff there are rude and have bad attitude.

The IFP calls on the KZN MEC of Health, Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu to provide a clear timeframe on when the challenges facing St Francis Hospital will be addressed.

Mrs Ncamisile Nkwanyana, MPL
IFP KZN Provincial Spokesperson on Health
078 302 3991