Government to take over Durban’s McCord Hospital

The government will finally take over McCord Hospital in Durban, but the facility will remain closed until the deal is concluded early next year.

According to hospital medical manager Jay Mannie, McCord and the KwaZulu-Natal health department will sign an agreement  after a “four-month interim [handover] period”.

According to a joint press release from the provincial health department and McCord last week, a selling price had not yet been agreed on and a new building evaluator will be hired to establish the value of the hospital. 

Mannie said staff “are ecstatic and overjoyed at this outcome”. 

In September, the Labour Court in Durban granted unions representing workers an urgent court interdict to prevent the board from retrenching staff. Staff members were heavily opposed to the closing down of the facility.

The fate of the hospital hung in the balance after the McCord board turned down an initial offer from government, arguing that the offer was far lower than what the hospital is worth – government offered R55-million but McCord wanted R124-million.

In mid-September, the board announced that the 104-year-old facility would shut down as patient numbers had dwindled and the hospital was running at a loss.

McCord is a private hospital that charges significantly less than medical aid rates and is largely dependent on donor funding.  Last year the hospital’s foreign funding ended, leaving McCord looking to government as its main source of funding. At the beginning of this year the department announced the state grant would not be renewed.

At the end of September negotiations between the hospital and the government resumed. The parties resolved that a team representing McCord and the department would be established to comb out the legal and technical aspects of a takeover that will see the hospital being turned into a state hospital.  

                                                           

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.


The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Bhekisisa team
Bhekisisa Team
Health features and news from across Africa by Bhekisisa, the Mail & Guardian's health journalism centre.
Advertising

Judge trashes entire lockdown regime as constitutionally flawed

The high court ruling will delight gatvol South Africans but is unlikely to stand the test of time

Eusebius McKaiser: Two important lessons to learn about racists

The racially intolerant act to keep black people in “their place”, some even while claiming they're allies
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday