Few an­swers as bod­ies pile up at state mor­tu­ar­ies

Cape Argus - - NEWS - Ja­son Felix

BOD­IES are pil­ing up at state mor­tu­ar­ies in the Western Cape and au­thor­i­ties have given few an­swers.

In an of­fi­cial note the Western Cape Health Depart­ment warned of pos­si­ble de­lays in fi­nal­is­ing post­mortems as the metro’s foren­sic pathol­ogy ser­vices (FPS) was ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a high case load.

With­out giv­ing de­tails or rea­sons for the high case load, EMS spokesper­son Robert Daniels said this re­sulted in the FPS be­ing un­able to pri­ori­tise cases. “Cases will now be al­lo­cated and au­top­sies per­formed in chrono­log­i­cal or­der. We recog­nise that the time of be­reave­ment is stress­ful and dif­fi­cult. For this rea­son we are do­ing ev­ery­thing to speed up the process.”

Pierre Uys, ANC chief whip and for­mer health MEC, said the is­sue can lead to a cri­sis. “Some­one called me from Uping­ton query­ing the de­lays. Their baby had died in Mow­bray. More than a week later, they have re­ceived no com­mu­ni­ca­tion. It’s to­tally un­ac­cept­able.”

Uys said: “I don’t know what has caused this. And it seems they don’t have the an­swers ei­ther.”

In June, 123 bod­ies at Salt River and Tyger­berg mor­tu­ar­ies awaited post-mortems af­ter a strike. Those who have lost loved ones can call Tyger­berg 021 931 9140 or Salt River 021 447 4915.

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