The KwaZulu-Natal health department conceded that there were problems in providing patients with vital eye surgery, but said it was "doing its best" to address backlogs‚ staff shortages and malfunctioning equipment. And it was adamant that people were still receiving the care they needed. The department was reacting to a statement released by the DA on KwaZulu-Natal on Tuesday‚ which contained a response to parliamentary questions it posed about eye healthcare in the province.

In the written reply‚ health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo and acting provincial health department head Musa Gumede revealed that half of the province’s government hospitals — earmarked for eye healthcare — had malfunctioning ophthalmology equipment. The situation‚ which the DA has described as a "eye health crisis"‚ has resulted in a backlog of 8‚201 patients who are on a waiting list for cataract surgery‚ the cost of which is between R2‚000 and R5‚000 a procedure. A cataract is a medical condition that clouds...

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