HOSPERSA WELCOMES MINISTER’S CALL FOR ARRESTS ON KZN ONCOLOGY CRISIS

 

 

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HOSPERSA WELCOMES MINISTER’S CALL FOR ARRESTS ON KZN ONCOLOGY CRISIS 

08 September 2017

Hospersa welcomes the Minister of Health’s call for the arrest of implicated individuals in the procurement of oncology machines in KwaZulu-Natal’s Department of Health.  A forensic audit into the reasons why two radiography machines at Addington Hospital broke down and never fixed is currently under way.  The Union awaits the audit report and has again called for the resignation of the Health Member of the Executive Council (MEC) in KZN for his lack of management of the province’s health department since 2009 when the oncology crisis began.

According to reports, the Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, told local media that he would not rest until he receives answers as to why no one has been arrested in connection with the procurement of oncology machines in KwaZulu Natal (KZN).  It is reported that the KZN Department of Health (DoH) Treasury was conducting its investigation and the matter has also been handed over to the Hawks.  The Minister stated that he expected people to be arrested as he is convinced that white-collar crime was committed.

“We welcome the Minister’s call for implicated individuals to be arrested,” said Hospersa General Secretary Noel Desfontaines.  “We signaled the alarm bells in 2009 when the DoH was caught up in a multi-million rand corruption scandal involving the maintenance contract of radiography machines at Addington Hospital. This corruption scandal had a domino effect that  resulted in many lives lost due to limited access to cancer treatment.  Public health facilities in the province also saw a mass exodus of oncology specialists with many citing poor working conditions and frustrations experienced while working with machines that do not get serviced,” said Desfontaines.

It is also reported that earlier in the week the National Parliamentary Portfolio Committee heard that the ongoing KZN oncology crisis was caused by the severe lack of human resources as well as procurement issues.  According to reports, the Minister told Members of Parliament (MPs) that his department would receive the results of a forensic audit into the reasons why two radiotherapy machines at Addington Hospital broke down and were never fixed.

The forensic audit was instituted after the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) found that the DoH’s violated the rights of oncology patients by failing to procure and maintain functional equipment, failing to recruit and retain suitably qualified staff as well as failing to monitor and evaluate the health needs of oncology patients in KZN.

“Hospersa awaits the release of the forensic audit report with bated breath,” said Desfontaines.  “We have no doubt that senior officials in the province are implicated in the 2009 corruption deal which has led to the current crisis.  Government needs to send out a clear message that corruption will not be tolerated especially in instance where it has had a direct result to the loss of human lives,” added Desfontaines.

“We reiterate our call for the KZN Health MEC to be held accountable for allowing cancer treatment in the province to collapse and for the many lives that lost their fight against cancer due to the broken machines, shortage of staff and poor working conditions in KZN Public Health facilities.

 

-ENDS-

Total words (excluding heading):  522

 

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

Hospersa – A Trade Union fighting for Service Workers’ rights in the Public and Private Sector
Please visit us on 
www.hospersa.co.za to see what we stand for and what we do

 

Hospersa – A Trade Union fighting for Service Workers’ rights in the Public and Private Sector
Please visit us on 
www.hospersa.co.za to see what we stand for and what we do