19 October 2017

South Africa: Treatment Waiting Times Continue to Surge As KZN Cancer Services Fail

Watch how waiting times for life-saving cancer treatment has grown as KwaZulu-Natal's cancer services crumble. As the crisis grows, patients wait longer and longer for treatment. This information comes from the SAHRC's report but Democratic Alliance spokesperson for health in KwaZulu-Natal Imran Keeka says he doubts the veracity of the information. Keeka alleges the data does not reflect patient backlogs at Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital fuelled by a breakdown of treatment machines at Addington Hospital.

KwaZulu-Natal cancer patients are now waiting nine months for treatment, alleges Democratic Alliance spokesperson for health in KwaZulu-Natal Imran Keeka.

In a statement, Keeka said South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) chairperson Bongani Majola revealed this new information during a recent provincial health portfolio committee meeting. Previously, the average waiting time for treatment was seven months.

The news comes almost four months after the SAHRC released a scathing report detailing the collapse of cancer services in the province. The document accused the KwaZulu-Natal health department and its MEC, Sibongiseni Dhlomo, of failing patients.

After more than a year of investigation, SAHRC revealed that the province lost one oncologist each month over a five-month period. From October to December 2016, a breakdown in cancer treatment machines forced Durban's Addington Hospital to refer its patients to the nearby Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital for treatment.

Durban lost its last public sector specialist in June, leaving only two such professionals in the province at Grey's Hospital in Pietermaritzburg.

As of August, health minister Aaron Motsoaledi had launched a two-week plan to resuscitate cancer services, taking over some of the province's procurement and human resources functions, said national health department spokesperson Joe Maila.

Have something to say? Tweet or Facebook us on @Bhekisisa_MG

South Africa

Governments Are Closing Down Space for Civil Society - Jay Naidoo

Currently a political and social activist, Jay Naidoo was a pioneering trade unionist who fought apartheid in South… Read more »

Copyright © 2017 Bhekisisa. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 900 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.