#KZNHealthCrisis: MEC cannot run from the truth – DA KZN

Imran Keeka says media briefing designed to excuse the numerous and ongoing failures on part of Dhlomo

#KZNHealthCrisis: MEC cannot run from the truth

12 November 2018

Today’s KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health (DoH) media briefing – designed to excuse the numerous and ongoing failures on the part of MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo and his Department - must be seen for the crisis management that it is.

The MEC has a poor track record when it comes to being upfront about healthcare in KZN, in particular when it comes to the ongoing Oncology crisis. However, there are some matters he simply cannot run away from.

Today the DA can reveal that;

- Addington Hospital’s Dr Nokwanda Zuma - paraded earlier this year by the MEC as the saviour of KZN’s oncology crisis - has resigned effective from the end of November.  Dr Zumashould be free to choose her own future and pursue the dreams and opportunities she believes will allow for her development

- Dr Omran El-Koha, an oncologist from Grey's Hospital, has also resigned. To the best of our knowledge, he has already left South Africa to pursue his career abroad.  The DA wishes Dr Omran well.

The DA expresses its gratitude for the time both these doctors have dedicated to the service of the citizens of KZN. We wish them both well in their future endeavours.

This situation leaves the province in an even more precarious state when it comes to oncology services. Meanwhile, it is increasingly clear that National Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi’s recent comment - that the provinces oncology crisis is over -  is completely absurd. The DA strongly condemns his reckless haste. We regard this as a purely political move aimed at protecting the image of a failed ANC MEC – one who has violated the rights of patients to access oncology services.

Today, the DA expects MEC Dhlomo to ensure that he is not economical with the truth, particularly when the facts are there for all to see. In fact, the DA would go so far as to say that this MEC should no longer be trusted to provide any credible information because, like the apartheid government, his information is selectively distributed and every attempt is made to keep matters hidden instead of ensuring transparency and openness.

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) report into the province’s oncology crisis was a tool to remedy the situation, with firm directives on what needed to be done. The DA has always been of the view that any corrective process to turn KZN health around, must start with firing MEC Dhlomo.

The DA's call to fire MEC Dhlomo is not a lone voice. It is one echoed by civil society and various organisations. The question is – what is Premier Willies Mchunu waiting for? More suffering and death? Minister Motsoaledi and his ANC leadership can no longer continue to protect this MEC.  Their complicity in the deaths of some 530 people must be punished at the ballot box next year.

The DA offers functional healthcare services where we govern. We also deliver clean governance, with the Western Cape the only provincial health department to consistently ensure clean audits.  We want to offer this to the people of KZN after next year’s election.

Issued by Imran Keeka, DA KZN Spokesperson on Health 12 November 2018