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We are saddened to see severe shortages of cancer specialists and the poor management of cancer-related equipment in the three hospitals in Kwazulu Natal that offer cancer treatment in Kwazulu Natal: Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital, Addington hospital and Grey’s hospital.
We have taken note of the task team that the health minister, Aaron Motsoaledi, has set up to tackle the crisis. The crisis in the oncology services is a symptom of a deeper crisis of inefficient governance in the health department in Kwazulu Natal.
We therefore ask the health minister to set up another task team as soon as possible to investigate the governance issues in the health department in Kwazulu Natal that have contributed to the cancer treatment crisis.
The health minister should consider instituting a Section 100 (1)(b) intervention in the health department in Kwazulu Natal to assist the department to improve the delivery of health services, including the oncology services.
The crisis in oncology services in Kwazulu Natal has been dragging on for too long. As a result, there is high possibility that many lives have been lost as a result of the ineptitude with which the crisis has been handled.
We have therefore asked the human rights commission to investigate and reveal the number of patients who have been diagnosed between January 2015 and June 2017 with Stage 1 Cancer in various hospitals in Kwazulu Natal.
The investigation should also reveal how many of them have died while waiting to access the MRI scan and to commence treatment.
If it is proven that, in the past two years, a significant number of cancer patients have indeed died as a result of ineptitude on the part of the health department in Kwazulu Natal in remedying the crisis, those responsible should be identified and held to account.
Issued by SACBC Justice and Peace Commission