Statement by Jack Bloom MPL
DA Gauteng Shadow Health MEC:
I welcome the investigation by the Gauteng Health Department into allegations about a syndicate at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital mortuary that provides tip-offs to private undertakers when patients die.
This trade in dead bodies is a horrifying practice that must be stamped out.
My concern is that this is not the first time that mortuary staff have been implicated in this practice.
It was reported in August 2012 that the department was investigating mortuary officials who sold dead bodies to unregistered funeral undertakers.
There have been similar allegations at other hospital mortuaries, including at Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital.
The dead should always be handled with utmost respect.
I will be questioning the department why it has been so ineffectual in ensuring that high ethical standards prevail at hospital mortuaries.