DA de­lighted as Mt­shali re­signs

PARTY WANTS HEALTH MEC TO FOL­LOW SUIT On­col­ogy cri­sis has led to sev­eral deaths of pa­tients.

The Citizen (KZN) - - NEWS -

The Demo­cratic Al­liance in KwaZulu-Natal has wel­comed the res­ig­na­tion of the prov­ince’s head of the health de­part­ment, Dr Si­fiso Mt­shali, amid the on­col­ogy ma­chines scan­dal, but fur­ther called for the re­moval of the prov­ince’s MEC for health.

This comes af­ter KZN Pre­mier Wil­lies Mchunu an­nounced yes­ter­day he has ac­cepted Mt­shali’s res­ig­na­tion to avoid fur­ther le­gal and foren­sic costs be­ing in­curred and to bring fi­nal­ity to the is­sue of the cancer pa­tients’ cri­sis and the scan­dal of re­pairs to on­col­ogy ma­chines.

DA pro­vin­cial health spokesper­son Dr Im­ran Keeka said the an­nounce­ment came as no sur­prise.

“It was ex­pected he would have been fired any­way. The pre­mier’s re­marks sug­gest he has done so in the best in­ter­est of the prov­ince. While this may be the case, the pre­mier has shown no po­lit­i­cal lead­er­ship in hold­ing the big­ger cul­prit, [health] MEC [Dr Si­bongiseni] Dhlomo, to ac­count,” Keeka said.

“For as long as he sits on his hands and does not fire the failed MEC, he must not ex­pect KZN health to turn around. The dis­eased de­part­ment has seen heads of de­part­ment, CEOs and other se­nior staff come and go but MEC Dhlomo con­tin­ues to ruin KZN health.”

The pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment re­cently em­barked on a ma­jor in­ter­ven­tion to ad­dress is­sues aris­ing from man­age­ment and ad­min­is­tra­tion in the KwaZulu-Natal de­part­ment of health.

It has been al­leged the ap­point­ment of KZN On­col­ogy to re­pair on­col­ogy ma­chines at Ad­ding­ton Hospi­tal in Dur­ban was ir­reg­u­lar and il­le­gal.

Last month, Mt­shali was sus­pended over the on­col­ogy cri­sis which has led to the death of an undis­closed num­ber of cancer pa­tients and saw an ex­o­dus of on­col­o­gists. He was ap­pointed as the head of de­part­ment in June 2015 af­ter run­ning Inkosi Al­bert Luthuli Cen­tral Hospi­tal.

Mchunu said he had been in con­sul­ta­tions with the pro­vin­cial ex­ec­u­tive, par­tic­u­larly Dhlomo and the MEC for fi­nance Belinda Scott, in a bid to re­solve non-re­pairs to on­col­ogy ma­chines.

Keeka said Mchunu should un­der­stand that the de­part­ment now has, at the helm, an MEC who has lost con­trol of the de­part­ment, an act­ing HOD and an act­ing chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer.

“If this is not a recipe for fur­ther dis­as­ter, then what is? He needs to act ur­gently,” Keeka said.

“First he needs to fire the MEC and en­sure that the act­ing posts are filled on a full-time ba­sis. The peo­ple of KZN de­serve bet­ter lead­er­ship and must punish the pre­mier and his gov­ern­ment for the suf­fer­ing in our health­care fa­cil­i­ties.” – ANA

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