South African electrician Phiwankosi Mkhize was diagnosed with lung cancer in May last year and told by the hospital to come back for a scan in 15 months. But after just 12 months he died, before having the chance to receive treatment. The 66-year-old’s fate is far from unique in southeastern KwaZulu-Natal province, the country’s second most populous. Hundreds of patients have died in the region over the past three years as cancer services come under acute pressure following a decision by the provincial government to cut costs and stop recruiting or replacing doctors, say rights activists and doctors. "Patients who have cancer survive after going for chemotherapy, but for my dad it was too late," Mkhize’s daughter, Londiwe, told AFP, days after his death on May 7. South Africa’s human rights commission says patients at publicly-funded hospitals in KwaZulu-Natal wait between five months and a year to see an oncologist and another eight months for radiotherapy or chemotherapy. Mkhize ...

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