SAHRC to probe ongoing radiotherapy treatment delays – Imran Keeka

DA welcomes investigation which will also look into allegations of improper procedure in awarding maintenance contracts

DA KZN: SAHRC to probe ongoing radiotherapy treatment delays

12 May 2016

THE DA welcomes the South African Human Rights Council’s (SAHRC) decision to investigate ongoing delays in the treatment of cancer through the use of radiotherapy machines at several of KZN’s leading provincial hospitals. 

The move comes after the DA wrote to the SAHRC following numerous complaints about broken CT scanners and Radiotherapy machines, which have led to some newly diagnosed patients waiting as long as 18 months for treatment. This is in direct contravention of Section 184 of the Constitution of the Republic.

The DA welcomes this very important investigation which will also look into allegations of improper procedure in the awarding of maintenance contracts for the machines.

This after the maintenance contract with the original service provider was terminated and another company brought in, allegedly without following proper procedure. As far as the DA is aware, the original contract is only due to lapse next year. This will no doubt result in a legal mess.

Machines at Durban’s Addington hospital have been broken since 2014, resulting in a massive backlog. According to our sources, one machine is now back online.  However, we are not convinced that it will work according to specification since the company awarded the contract is not authorised by the manufacturer.

Under these circumstances, proper patient care cannot be guaranteed and radiation doses are worrying - it is like taking a racing car to a backyard mechanic.

Cancer does not wait.  Meanwhile patients are being denied the basic level of healthcare that could allow for a cure.

While there may be complexities in ensuring the devices are fixed or new ones procured, KZN Health department’s excuses and procrastination are resulting in devastation and wanton death as curable cancers become incurable.

The DA looks forward to the outcome of the SAHRC’s investigation.

Access to quality health care is the right of every citizen of our country.  Come election time, the people of KZN must send a clear message - if government does not care, it will be removed.

Issued by Imran Keeka, DA KZN Health Spokesperson, 12 May 2016