Statement by Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Health Spokesman

Cancer patients were turned away today at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital as a radiation machine had not been repaired due to a non-payment dispute with Siemens.

I was contacted this morning by the anxious brother of Mr Anthony Ramothale, a 49 year old patient with colon cancer, who was told that the machine broke down last Friday and should have been repaired this weekend but this did not happen because the service provider had not been paid.

I visited the Oncology Department and found that this is one of eight radiation machines that treat about 300 patients daily.

The breakdown of this machine means that more than 30 patients could not be treated today.

Part of the problem is that there is an intermediary company called Phambili that complicates payment with Siemens.

I agree with National Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi that this type of middle man as a problem as it unnecessarily pushes up costs.

Payment disputes in Gauteng must end so that patients do not continue to be victims.

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