The Democratic Alliance (DA) in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) has written to the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) calling for an investigation into the situation at Addington Hospital. This after numerous reports from both staff and patients that none of the lifts in the high-rise hospital are working – forcing them to use the stairs to access care and the wards.
The DA has approached the SAHRC on the basis that Addington Hospital is in violation of Section 27 of the Bill of Rights, which guarantees that “everyone has the right to access health care services”.
We regard it as untenable that both staff and patients at Addington should have to operate under circumstances where there are no lift facilities whatsoever. Then there is the issue of safety. In the latest incident, a week ago, staff and patients were stuck in the hospital’s only functional lift at the time, for several hours. Fortunately, they were rescued before the lift allegedly dropped to the ground floor.
Addington’s lifts have been a longstanding issue for many years, primarily due to years of failed maintenance and a lack of oversight by the KZN Health Department. The DA has, on numerous occasions, called on KZN Health MEC, Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu to personally intervene. Instead of taking this matter seriously the MEC, in her arrogance, has laughed off the issue. In a ridiculous attempt to deflect from her own department’s incompetence, the MEC even tried to blame the salty sea air for the problem. This despite there being absolutely no evidence to support this.
The last time our province witnessed such arrogance was during the Oncology crisis, when former Health MEC, Sibongiseni Dhlomo’s attitude of denial effectively led to the deaths of hundreds of vulnerable cancer patients.
Issued by the DA