Health MEC submits oncology report
HEALTH MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo met his deadline by making his submissions to the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC), based on its recommendations into the oncology crisis in the province.
The commission told the Daily News yesterday that the report, the second to be submitted to the commission by the Health Department, was submitted on Friday.
Gail Smith, SAHRC spokesperson, said the commission was going through the report and would make an announcement once it was familiar with its contents.
Last month, the commission slammed the department for the poor handling of the oncology crisis in provincial hospitals. The com- mission’s 68-page report into its investigation into the matter cited a lack of functional health machines for screening and treating cancer patients. The matter raised issues on the constitutional rights of the people to have access to health-care services. The report further raised concerns about the number of resignations by highly skilled specialists because of frustrations with how the hospitals were operated. The department was given an ultimatum to repair and monitor all machines.
The Daily News reported this month that the department had since reached an agreement with Varian’s Oncology Systems to fix and service the machines.
Imran Keeka, the DA provincial health spokesperson, said it was alerted by the commission about the department’s report.
“On the face of it, it appears that the MEC is trying to put a band aid on a large gaping wound, with the proposals providing little in the way of concrete steps to address the crisis in the long term,” Keeka said.
He said Dhlomo had denied that anyone died of cancer as a result of his ineptitude.
“He should know that his response to the crisis is not just nonsensical, it is also insensitive and uncaring,” he said.
He said the DA would be ready to interrogate the MEC’s submissions at the next health portfolio committee meeting. – Daily News Reporter