DA to refer management of medical waste to SAHRC

Andrew Louw, MPL

DA Provincial Leader

The Democratic Alliance welcomes the action taken by AfriForum in raising awareness about the unhygienic conditions at the Kuruman Hospital. We call on the department of Health to take the necessary action to ensure the proper management of medical waste at all health facilities throughout the province. It is not enough for the department to say it will undertake an investigation; immediate action is needed to improve the management of medical waste in the province.

It seems that the department has not yet learned from its previous mismanagement of medical waste. In the past three years, investigations have uncovered medical waste being dumped in Wrenchville, Kuruman, Kimberley and Daniëlskuil. The warehouse in Kimberley, for example, contained the rotting body parts and placentas collected from state hospitals and clinics throughout the province.

The improper disposal of medical waste poses a serious risk to the health of humans and animals.

We will be pursuing the matter to ensure that the MEC for Health is held accountable for his department’s horrifying failure to handle medical waste properly. The mismanagement of medical waste seems to have started with the awarding of the contract to Tshenolo Resources.

We will scrutinise the department’s contract management on medical waste and we will take the necessary steps to see that the situation is rectified.

Due to the seriousness of the matter, we will be reporting it to the South African Human Rights Commission for a thorough investigation. We believe that the rights of Northern Cape residents to a healthy environment is being violated.