Twice a year the Bishops of the Metropolitan Province of Durban meet for half a day with the religious superiors of those communities working in the area. I became involved in these meetings in 2000 when I was the superior of the Consolata Missionaries. These meetings were always "short", "to the point", well prepared and, because of that, even though I had to travel three hours to attend it, I think I never missed it. It is the same today.
The theme this time was the future of Catholic Health Care in our province. It is a matter that we have been reflecting upon for the last year or two when we started transferring the HIV-Aids patients from our clinics and programs to the ones of the government. We knew at that time that the financial support from abroad would be finishing and unless the government would provide us with ARVs we would not be able to continue. In this case it was a matter of life and death and we made sure patients would get all the support needed.
People were not very happy about it, I remember. They felt they'd never be cared in the same way but we had no choice.
Now it seems that a similar situation is affecting the rest of our health services. The difference is that in the case of the HIV-Aids program, our financial support was coming from abroad. Today it is the financial support from the government that seems to be reaching an end and without it we do not have many choices...
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A similar situation is affecting other hospitals. I just hope the government has alternatives to all these services which in fact are very much needed and would not overload the present structures.
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These articles were published by News24:
McCord hospital in Durban closing down
Calls to keep McCord Hospital open