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No province for cancer patients – KZN’s crisis of care. DA lays charges.

CAPE TOWN — If the DA is to be believed, public healthcare provision in KwaZulu-Natal has got so bad that hundreds of people – in this case cancer patients – have died through blatant lack of care and equipment. It’s laying culpable homicide charges against Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi and KwaZulu-Natal health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo after the deaths of nearly 300 cancer patients in the province. The issue first hit headlines several months ago when it emerged that the province has cut budget so efficiently and head-hunted, either not at all or so dysfunctionally, that there was not a single State oncologist left in Durban. Meanwhile province-wide, the oncology staffing situation remains critical with too many machines for cancer screening, diagnosing and treatment missing or in disrepair. Once again, we have that all-pervasive South African epidemic of no accountability manifesting. The DA might be out to score points, but the issue remains all too real for State sector patients and families who are dealing with probably the most testing times of their lives – or outright bereavement. A few culpable homicide convictions might go a long way. Certainly, a step up from Dhlomo and his ilk pointing fingers at under-equipped doctors for adverse patient events and labelling those who leave as “unpatriotic”. – Chris Bateman

By James de Villiers, News24

Durban – The DA is on Wednesday expected to lay charges of culpable homicide against Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi and KwaZulu-Natal health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo following the deaths of nearly 300 cancer patients in the province.

Minister of Health Dr Aaron Motsoaledi briefs the media on the employment of doctors and pharmacists in public service, 19 Jan 2017.

According to a South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) report released in June, the KwaZulu-Natal health department violated the rights of the cancer patients in the Addington and Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central hospitals.

In a statement on Tuesday, the DA said its MP Patricia Kopane and provincial health spokesperson Imran Keeka would lay the charges at the Point police station in Durban.

Keeka lodged a formal complaint with the SAHRC in 2016, after it came to light that cancer patients did not have access to proper healthcare services, due to severe staff shortages and a lack of machines for screening, diagnosing, and treating cancer.

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