High-level meeting on Friday will tackle oncology crisis in KwaZulu-Natal
Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi will on Friday be meeting with KwaZulu-Natal Premier Willies Mchunu and other relevant stakeholders to discuss the oncology crisis in the province.
According to a statement issued by Mchunu’s spokesperson‚ Ndabezinhle Sibiya‚ on Thursday‚ the meeting will also consider the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) report into the oncology crisis and state of healthcare services in KwaZulu-Natal.
The report found that both provincial and national departments acted unlawfully and failed to take reasonable measures to progressively realise the right to have access to healthcare services in the KwaZulu-Natal province.
Mchunu on Thursday also briefed the provincial legislature about developments in the department of health’s oncology unit.
"Regarding the issues raised around the oncology department‚ I wish to report that I and the national minister Motsoaledi will be having a meeting with all relevant stakeholders tomorrow [Friday]‚" said Mchunu.
He said the outcome of his meeting with Motsoaledi will be shared with the executive council‚ the legislature and members of the public.
Motsoaledi’s spokesperson‚ Joe Maila‚ confirmed that the minister would be attending the meeting but would not comment on it.
Last month the DA in KwaZulu-Natal said it would be laying criminal charges against Motsoaledi and provincial health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo over the oncology crisis gripping the public healthcare sector. The party accused Motsoaledi and Dhlomo of being indirectly responsible for the deaths of hundreds of cancer patients.
Health spokesperson for the DA in the province Imran Keeka on Thursday said a docket had been opened with the police whose investigation will determine whether the two should be charged with murder or culpable homicide.
Keeka welcomed Mchunu’s intervention on the oncology crisis but said his plans were "grossly inadequate to address the problem and there is no immediate or long-term solution".
He said Mchunu’s solutions‚ such as the opening of an oncology clinic in Ngwelezane in northern KwaZulu-Natal‚ were only temporary as the clinic will open for only six months.
According to Keeka, the only solution to the problem was to get rid of Dhlomo, who has been accused by the party of violating the rights of cancer patients to proper treatment.