McCord Hospital gets a lifeline from government

Image courtesy Chance Agrella/

Nearly a year of uncertainty has dogged McCord Hospital.

However, in terms of an agreement between the hospital board and the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) provincial government, the hospital will stay open and a workforce estimated at 400 people, including contractors, will keep their jobs.

According to a press release issued by both parties, the KZN provincial government was represented by the MEC for Health, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo and MEC for Finance Ina Cronje, while the board of McCord Hospital was led by its chairman, Professor Paulus Zulu.

“We are happy government is taking over,” said hospital spokesman Zodwa Mbatha.

The hospital had already issued a statement it would close on September 20 when province stepped in on September 25 in an effort to keep open the doors of the 104-year-old hospital.

Media reports said the hospital’s board of directors allegedly wanted R124 million, while Government would only offer R55 million. “It is an excellent idea and the handover should be about February 1, 2014,” added Mbatha.

KZN Health spokesman Sam Mkhwanazi would only say the hospital was open and functioning, and that an independent valuer had been appointed. In terms of the takeover agreement, the valuer of the hospital had to be agreeable to both parties.

A joint technical team, with representatives from government and McCord Hospital, must also be established to work on the technical and legal details, as well as the transfer of staff. The technical and legal teams have been appointed and commenced work on September 25.

“Both the KZN provincial government and the board of McCord Hospital will work very hard to ensure an outcome that will be in the best interests of all concerned, including the employees of McCord Hospital.”

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