St Mary’s Private Hospital

A beacon of hope for the poorest of the poor

Healthshare client 2014 – 2015

  • Country: South Africa
  • October 2017, the hospital was taken over by the KZN Department of Health.
  • Until 2017, St Mary’s Hospital is the only private, government-aided Catholic Mission Hospital in South Africa
  • Provides hospital services to an impoverished rural and peri-urban area on the outskirts of Durban, South Africa

Government-aided Catholic Mission Hospital

People receive inpatient treatment on an annual basis

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St Mary’s achieves operational and financial turnaround within 3 months and continues to tend to the healthcare needs of the poor in their community

St Mary’s has an extraordinary history. Following the Great Influenza epidemic of 1918, the Trappist Monastery in Mariannhill decided that a hospital was needed to see to the health needs of the poor and needy of their community. In 1921 three mud houses were built at the present location of St Mary’s to serve as a hospital. Three times storms and rain washed away the mud buildings but in 1925 the foundation stone was laid for a new St Mary’s Hospital building and construction began. When St Mary’s opened their doors in 1927 they had a capacity of 45 beds and three German trained nursing sisters.

Today, St Mary’s is a 200-bed, level one district hospital, serving approximately 750 000 people living in the inner and outer west operation entities of the eThekwini Municipality. Its mission remains the same today as it was at inception, amid sickness and despair, St Mary’s Hospital is a beacon of hope and healing for the ‘poorest of the poor’. One third of the people living in this area are HIV positive and approximately 60% are unemployed.

St Mary’s has a private wing which serves cash paying patients as well as patients covered through the workmen’s compensation fund and medical aid schemes. Their private hospital service has contributed to the expansion of the hospital and allows the staff to serve the poor.

Facing sequestration in 2014, St Mary’s contracted Healthshare to help turn around the operational and financial situation of the hospital, making use of Healthshare’s optimisation and efficiency improvement and operational management of healthcare facilities services.

“With Healthshare’s assistance we are experiencing major quality improvements, better patient outcomes and significant improvements to the hospital’s systems and procedures.”

Chairman of the Trust
St Mary’s hospital

Management and Financial Turnaround  October 2010 – June 2011
Objective:Remove hospital from provisional liquidation
Duration:9 months
  • Optimise the efficiency and management of the clinic referral system. St Mary’s Hospital has 24 clinics referring patients to St Mary’s.
  • Operational and financial turnaround was achieved within 3 months and the hospital was moved out of provisional liquidation and operated as a going concern
  • Operating costs reduced by 22%
  • Significant quality improvements with reduced length of stay and decongestion of the hospital.
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