6 November 2017

South Africa: KZN Oncology Crisis - Minister Motsoaledi Must Place KZN Department Under Administration

press release

The DA will submit an application in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) to the Department of Health, to gain access to the letter with recommendations that the Minister of Health, Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi sent to the KZN Premier, Willies Mchunu.

The DA is gravely concerned with Health Minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi's refusal to place the severely failing KZN Health Department under administration, following the oncology crisis and the chronic lack of accountability for the unnecessary loss of lives.

In a reply to the DA's oral question, the Minister stated that he will not place the KZN Health Department under administration.

The DA rejects this without question and will continue fighting for the National Health Department to urgently intervene as it has become clear that the KZN Health Department cannot correct itself.

The first step to turn this dire situation around, is to relieve the Health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo of his duties as he has dismally failed the citizens of KZN by allowing the healthcare services to deteriorate under his watch.

KZN is currently faced with major problems in oncology, nephrology, pharmacology, maternity, urology, mortuary services and Emergency Medical Rescue Services (EMRS). There's an array of serious challenges being experienced by the province such as:

the extreme staff shortages;

a lack of functional health technology machines due to the KZN Health Department's failures to fulfil its obligations;

and serious human resource and procurement issues which the Minister had confirmed.

These are but some of the reasons that MEC Dhlomo, as the head from which all the failure in the Health Department emanates, must be removed immediately.

It was revealed in a report by the Ministerial Task Team that visited four KZN hospitals from 13 - 15 November 2017 that: "... and in likelihood other hospitals and health facilities in the province the rights of patients to have access to health care services are indeed being violated".

This report further revealed that 80% of medical negligence cases are resulting from poor systems and practices with the majority of those affected being children and women.

Minister Motsoaledi must take the plight of South Africans seriously and hold those responsible for this entire crisis accountable.

The DA will continue putting pressure on the Minister and the Health Department in order to ensure there is improvement in the KZN Health Department and that every citizen receives adequate health services.

Patricia Kopane MP

DA Shadow Minister of Health

South Africa

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