Health MEC sub­mits on­col­ogy re­port

Daily News - - NEWS -

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

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