MCCORD HOSPITAL TURNS DOWN HELP AND ANNOUNCES ITS CLOSING ON FRIDAY
By: Mbalenhle Zibani
The McCord private hospital in Durban failed to reach an agreement with the Kwa-Zulu-Natal Health Department following a string of negotiations that began mid-year 2012.
The province’s Department of Health had proposed to take over the hospital as a plan to rescue it from its financial instability earlier this year, but the McCord Hospital board said in a statement that the final offer from the department was not even enough to carry out the hospital’s daily liabilities. They added that the R47 million takeover deal was half of what the hospital was worth.
The 103-year-old hospital admitted its cash trap last year after the KZN Health Department failed to meet the deadline to confirm grant funding. This then lead to the hospital’s board decision to announce the closing of the hospital on September 20, 2013.
Workers from the hospital feel that it is out of greed that the board turned down the offer. It has been reported that more than 300 workers will have no jobs when the hospital close. Doctor Jay Mannie who has worked at the hospital for 27 years told the media that workers were sad about the board’s decision.
“The offer was reasonable and the hospital had no reason refusing to take it. Employees were not formally informed about the board’s decision to close down the hospital,” said Mannie.
Mannie added that workers are against the board’s decision and they will “fight for the hospital to remain open”.
The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) has registered its concern at the imminent closure of McCord Hospital. The organisation also urged the hospital to reconsider its position for the sake of access to health by local citizens who rely on the 142-bed hospital.
McCord hospital has not replied to the plea of DENOSA.
Workers promised to stand outside the hospital opposing the closing of the hospital on Friday.