Calm has been restored at Addington Hospital after government officials met with the frustrated healthcare workers.
On Wednesday, healthcare workers at the Durban hospital stopped working and held a protest outside the building over the facility’s faulty lifts.
The workers said the service and passenger lifts at the 16-storey building had not been working optimally for two months.
The KwaZulu-Natal department of health said the malfunctioning of lifts was due to flood damage and a service provider had been appointed to source the required parts.
The department said parts sourced overseas were delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Dr Sandile Tshabalala, head of the provincial department of health, said they had formed a working committee that would monitor maintenance at the hospital.
The committee is made up of union members, engineers, hospital management and senior government officials.
“The department understands the frustrations of staff and the public, and wishes to assure them that the situation at the hospital will soon return to normal,” said Tshabalala in a statement.
“In the same vein, the department appeals to the affected essential services workers to put the needs of the public first, and not move away from their noble mandate as health workers, which is to heal the sick and save lives.”
The committee will be responsible for, among others:
- Monitoring the day-to-day functioning of the hospital and the lifts repair process.
- Ensuring that there is regular communication between engineers, hospital management and organised labour.
- Keeping staff at all levels informed of the progress made in addressing any identified challenges.
Tshabalala said there was a construction plan in place to permanently resolve the lift problems at the hospital, which would commence next year.
This article first appeared on Berea Mail and was republished with permission.