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KwaZulu-Natal Premier Willies Mchunu has appointed seasoned health practitioner and academic Ronald Green-Thompson to help overhaul the provincial health department. The department was in the spotlight recently after reports suggested the province’s public hospitals have collapsed due to shortages of staff, equipment and facilities. The reports said doctors who specialise in treating cancer were nonexistent. In June a damning, 68-page report by the South African Human Rights Commission found that the department had failed its cancer patients. The deteriorating situation led opposition parties to call for the resignation or dismissal of health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo, a call snubbed by the ANC. The province has set aside R1.4bn for the overhaul. Green-Thompson was the head of the KwaZulu-Natal health department from 1995 to 2005. He oversaw the amalgamation of the KwaZulu government health facilities and the apartheid-era Natal Provincial Administration-run hospitals. He was part of t...

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