The IFP is gravely concerned about the safety of workers at Addington Hospital, Durban, after three workers escaped a near-death experience when an elevator failed.
The IFP was informed of this unfortunate incident by reliable sources, who witnessed it happening. They explained that the elevator experienced engine failure from the fourth floor, but that workers were able to jump out at the second floor level, just before the elevator crashed at ground-floor level.
IFP Member, Hon. Nkwanyana, who serves in the KZN Legislature Health Portfolio Committee and as the IFP KZN Health Spokesperson, conducted an unannounced oversight visit to Addington Hospital today.
“When I arrived there, I was shocked to find that all the lifts were not working. I witnessed sick elderly people being carried down the staircase from upper floors to the lower levels. The agony that the sick people had to endure at Addington Hospital was painful and very difficult to watch,” said Hon. Nkwanyana.
It should be noted that the issue of malfunctioning elevators at Addington Hospital is of great concern to the IFP, as the lives of workers and patients continue to be put at enormous risk. Hospital Management and the Department of Health should shoulder the blame for these malfunctioning elevators, as they are the ones who appoint companies that are unable to conduct elevator repairs.
The IFP is aware that it has been a short time since elevators last received maintenance. It is therefore appropriate to question the Department as to how much has been spent fixing these lifts at Addington Hospital thus far? The Department of Health cannot continue spending public funds and appointing incompetent companies that deliver shoddy work, whilst taking home thousands of rands every time they carry out elevator maintenance.
The IFP calls on the MEC of Health, Hon Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu, to find long-lasting solutions by investigating the cause of the incident. The investigation report can then provide a better analysis of what is wrong with the elevators, as well as if the companies that provided maintenance services performed their duties properly. The investigation should also indicate if there is a need for replacing the lifts, rather than attempting to repair them.
We also expect the MEC to take action against the Management of Addington Hospital for their negligence in failing to monitor the provision of basic maintenance at their healthcare facility.
The Management at Addington Hospital have brought this healthcare facility into disrepute for the longest time. Addington Hospital always seems to make the news for the wrong reasons.
It is time for capable, qualified and competent people to take the reins. The IFP reiterates its call that the KZN MEC should fire the Management of Addington Hospital, because they are failing to run the hospital efficiently and provide the level of care that their employees and patients deserve.
Public hospitals are in dire need of competent, servant leadership.
Mrs Ncamisile Nkwanyana, MPL
IFP KZN Health Spokesperson in KZN
078 302 3991