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I welcome President Zuma's visit to the Steve Biko Hospital today, which he should use to ask probing questions to assess the real state of patient care at the hospital.
There are pockets of excellence at this academic hospital such as the automated medicine dispensing system which is hopefully rolled out to other hospitals.
We should also be proud of skilled surgeons of world standard.
But there are several problems which lead to excessively long waiting times for operations.
More posts need to be created for medical staff who work under great pressure because of the increased volume of patients.
Machinery keeps breaking down and is not repaired timeously because suppliers are not paid.
That is why 27 out of 28 lifts were broken earlier this year, causing a crisis as sick patients could not get up the stairs and even operations had to be cancelled.
Two cancer radiation machines could not be used because of broken air conditioners, causing delays in cancer treatment that are life-threatening.
Zuma should ask whether there are enough radiographers as ten radiographers have left in the last year.
He should also ask why some heart operations have been delayed because of a shortage of ICU beds and unpaid companies not supplying certain equipment.
I hope that President Zuma also reflects on how the massive amount of money wasted on corruption could have been used to assist this hospital and strengthen all aspects of our struggling health system.
Issued by DA