Nurses' protest halts life-saving operations
Patients were left unattended for seven hours when nurses protested at Durban's Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital yesterday.
The nurses refused to go back to work until health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo accepted their memorandum.
However, Dhlomo sent a delegation led by health general manager Mandla Mhlongo to accept the list of grievances, which included a demand for the removal of the hospital's human resources manager and systems manager.
In their memorandum, the nurses said there was evidence of corruption and fraud in the human resources department but no action had been taken.
The protesters refused to hand the memorandum to Mhlongo and chased him away.
Confused patients sat on benches waiting for help .
Sibusiso Cheake, 27, was scheduled to undergo a critical operation in the morning but sat waiting in a queue for four hours.
"The surgeons have been waiting for me in the theatre for hours and I could not go up because I have not been registered as an in-patient. The process to save my life has been delayed," he said.
National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union organiser Elliot Malunga said the protest has been suspended but will restart next week if Dhlomo did not address the nurses' grievances.
KwaZulu-Natal health department spokesman Desmond Motha said the department was unaware of the grievances.
"The nurses refused to give their memorandum to the managers sent by the MEC."