One Addington cancer machine switched on

2014-06-13 05:11
(Duncan Alfreds, News24)

(Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Durban - Barely hours after Nehawu and the DA called on the KwaZulu-Natal provincial health department to switch on two state-of-the-art cancer radiotherapy machines, the company that installed them announced that one of the machines is again operational.

Tecmed chief executive officer Werner Bergere said an official order had been received from the department to repair one of the machines.

He said the machine had been repaired and was working, but that the maintenance contract for the two machines had still not been paid.

Earlier Zola Saphetha, the National Education Health and Allied Workers Union's KwaZulu-Natal provincial secretary, said the union could see no reason why the machines should not be operating.

"Those machines have done nothing. The people who have to be treated by them have done nothing wrong," he said.

KwaZulu-Natal MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo and the head of the KwaZulu-Natal health department Dr Sibongile Zungu have previously said there had been corruption in the R120m tender to install the two machines - a claim that Tecmed has denied.

Saphetha said the union had written to both Dhlomo and the KwaZulu-Natal premier over supply chain management issues in the department, including the issue surrounding the two machines.

"We have asked for an investigation into this and other irregularities. The MEC and the premier must institute investigations on supply chain management."

He said the outcome of any investigations needed to be known and that the union was also calling for Zungu's removal from her position.

"Her actions make us doubt her ability," he said.

Suspensions

He said the union also had concerns over the number of senior positions where senior staff had been suspended.

He referred to the suspension of the department's chief financial officer Mashaka Ravhura, the suspension of KwaZulu-Natal health department security manager Madoda Mpinda, the department's human resources manager Nozipho Mthembu, as well as supply manager Andile Zondo.

The DA's health spokesperson Dr Imran Keeka urged Dhlomo to address the issues.

"The current situation at Addington, and other major Durban hospitals which serve patients across the province, is scandalous," he said.

On Saturday, Health and Other Service Personnel Trade Union (Hospersa) spokesperson Michelle Connolly said there was a six-month backlog.

At that stage one of the machines was working, but the other stopped working on Wednesday.

The two machines, named Nguni and Nkandla, have safety features that shut themselves down if they are not serviced properly.

There is only one other machine like these two in the country.

Bergere said over the weekend there had been several promises to pay.

"Nothing has ever materialised," Bergere said.

It is not the first time payment issues relating to the maintenance of the two machines made headlines.

Investigations

Early last year, Tecmed refused to service them after having not been paid for nine months.

At the time MEC Dhlomo said the department had suspended its contract with Tecmed, claiming the company had obtained the tender fraudulently.

Two charges had been lodged with police in Pietermaritzburg in May and July 2010.

In May 2013, Dhlomo said the investigations were at an advanced stage and that a forensic investigation was being carried out by the audit firm Ernst and Young.

Department spokesperson Sam Mkhwanazi said on Thursday again that the investigations were at an advanced stage, but did not provide any other details.

To date Tecmed has never been charged and it is not clear what became of either investigation.

Dhlomo also said at the time that payments would be resumed on a month to month basis pending the outcome of investigations, as well as negotiations with Varian, the manufacturer of the machines, called Varian Rapid Arc Linear Accelerators.

According to Bergere the department paid the previous backlog, but has not paid since the machines were restarted.

The machines in Durban were installed by Tecmed in 2010 after it was awarded a R120m tender, which included a R33m maintenance contract over five years. The maintenance contract was later reduced to R26m.

By the time the machines first stopped working at the end of 2012, Addington's oncology department, which receives patients from across the province, had cut its waiting time for treatment from eight months to two weeks.

- SAPA
Read more on:    durban  |  health
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
17 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Wine
 

You HAVE to see this MTB Tsunami Fip!

You might not know what a Tsunami Flip is, but just watching this will turn your eyes into saucers. Check out this first-ever MTB Tsunami Flip in contest here.

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Bear Grylls’ top 10 things kids should do outdoors
Mountain unicycling – say WHAT?
Top tips to ensure you’re running right
Stand-up paddle boarding a great workout

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Deal of the week!

20% off Afrikaans books, music and DVDs. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Hot gaming titles – available for pre-order!

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Day Zero Edition, Far Cry 4, Grand Theft Auto 5 and more. Pre-order now!

Get a free eBook

Buy 3 eBooks and get the cheapest FREE. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Power and leadership are emphasized today. It is important to strategize and delegate well otherwise you may end up with too much...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.