Addington Radiotherapy Scandal: DA Call for Urgent Action

Makhosazana Mdlalose, MPP DA KZN Spokesperson on Health THE Democratic Alliance calls for an urgent site visit by the province’s health portfolio committee to Addington Hospital following reports that hundreds of critically ill cancer patients are being turned away while a departmental investigation into a supposedly flawed tender process drags on. The KZN health department is alleged to have failed to pay a maintenance contract for two of Addington’s radiotherapy machines, leading to patients being sent to Nkosi Albert Luthuli Hospital for treatment. According to reports, this has been going on since the beginning of the year and has led to a severe backlog of patients in need of urgent treatment. Addington appears to lurch from one crisis to the next. Six months ago the health portfolio committee spent time at Addington in an effort to address the myriad problems. We were assured by health officials that the issues would be attended to. As a portfolio committee, we are battling with the way in which Addington is being run. There seems to be one problem after another and matters are only dealt with when they reach crisis level. The rot within this hospital appears to be greater than we ever imagined. The situation is deteriorating rather than improving and an urgent site visit is needed. The committee must see first-hand what is going on and be afforded the opportunity to interrogate various staff within the hospital. We also need to get answers from the MEC and his HOD on all internal investigations involving Addington hospital. During the past year we have had little feedback. The time for excuses is over. If Addington cannot function properly, it must at least function adequately. Turning away hundreds of ill people is hardly adequate.

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