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15 September 2017

Hospersa has come out in support of the South African Human Rights Commissions’ (SAHRC) statement that the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Health Department’s responses to the oncology crisis are unsatisfactory.  The Commission has critised the KZN Health Department for failing to implement the recommendations from its report on the provision of oncology service in KZN.  The Union has continued to call for a leadership change in the province’s health portfolio by reiterating calls for the resignation of the KZN Health Member of Executive Council (MEC).

On Wednesday, 13 September 2017, the SAHRC chair advocate Bongani Majola met the KZN health portfolio committee to give a presentation on the SAHRC report on the state of oncology in the province.  It is reported that the commission is not satisfied with the KZN Health Department’s responses to the oncology crisis in the province.  He cited that the recommendations made to the department in the report were directives and were binding.  He also stated that anyone that wanted to challenge the directives could take the matter to a court of law.

“We fully support the SAHRC and thank them for the important role they are playing,” said Hospersa General Secretary Noel Desfontaines.  “We also agree that the steps taken by the Department of Health (DoH) in the province to address the oncology crisis are unsatisfactory.  It is almost three months since the SAHRC report was released and still the recommendations from the report are still not implemented,” added Desfontaines.

In June this year, the SAHRC released a damning report on the state of oncology in the KZN.  The commission recommended that steps be taken to repair and monitor all the health technology machines including the Computed Tomography (CT) scanners and the radiotherapy machines regardless of contractual disputes.  The commission also ordered the adoption of a management plan to deal with the backlog as well as the adoption of an interim referral management plan to facilitate the referral of patients to private service providers for screening, diagnosis and treatment of cancer.  

“We reiterate our call for a leadership change in the province’s health portfolio,” said Desfontaines.  “The KZN Health MEC’s mismanagement of the province’s health portfolio has led to a collapse of the oncology service in the province’s public health facilities. As a result, many patients have lost the battle with cancer,” argued Desfontaines.

“Hospersa has been vocal about the cancer crisis since 2009 when the DoH was caught up in a multi-million rand corruption scandal involving the maintenance contract of radiography machines at Addington Hospital.  We are of the view that the MEC’s resignation will bring renewed hope that the SAHRC’s recommendations will be implemented.  It will also ensure that the oncology patients’ rights are adequately addressed and not violated any further,” concluded Desfontaines.



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For interviews please contact Hospersa General Secretary Noel Desfontaines – 083-321-4427.

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