A temporary management team has been appointed at the Northdale Hospital in Pietermaritzburg following the suspension of two managers and the redeployment of the acting hospital CEO.

The hospital was severely criticised following the death of a 67-year-old patient who was being treated in a makeshift clinic in the hospital’s parking lot.

Heath Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize conducted an oversight visit at the hospital following the incident.

It was in a temporary clinic where Sibusiso Khumalo was treated for flu-like symptoms and where he was last seen by his family. His daughter had filmed the structure, which appeared to provide a very little shelter.

Khumalo apparently had complained of having difficulty breathing and later died in the hospital. The cause of death was thought to be COVID-19.

Dr Mkhize conducts an oversight visit at the hospital:

The Minister inspected a new ward erected at the hospital which replaced the previous temporary structure. He said those responsible would be held accountable.

“Management across the country, they need to know that they are going to be accountable. They are going to have to take responsibility for the good and the bad that they do. It’s very important to know that we are going to be taking action and anyone where we think that they are not using their position for ensuring that we’ve got the best quality care that we want for our people and for that reason there’s going to be a process to manage the issues around those who were managing the facility. I’m told it was a donation. I don’t mind donation, but as management, you should know the quality we expect to treat our people,” says Health Minister Zweli Mkhize.

The Provincial Department of Health says the independent body appointed to investigate the incident has filed its findings.

“The report has been given to us. We are going to go through it with the HOD probably by Monday. We will be talking to you about what the report says. However, we decided to put in place a temporary management team that’s going to stabilize the facility at least for the next 4 weeks,” says MEC, Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu.

Dr Mkhize says KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng have reached the peak in COVID-19 infections. KwaZulu-Natal, however, may still see a rise in the number of infections.

In the video below, Mkhize conducts an oversight check at the Northdale Hospital: