Radiation machines fail at Pta hospital - DA

2012-02-15 19:31
Johannesburg - Four radiation machines at the Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria are not working, the Gauteng health department said on Wednesday.

"Two were broken and two were working, but today [Wednesday] those two stopped working," spokesperson Simon Zwane said.

The department paid R500 000 to service provider Siemens last week and would pay a further R2.6m next week, he said.

"The hospital's CEO will meet with Siemens tomorrow [Thursday] to discuss servicing the machines."

Earlier, Democratic Alliance Gauteng MP Jack Bloom claimed that the department owed Siemens R120m for servicing of the four machines and that it had stopped servicing the machines in November.

Zwane denied the figure was so high, and said only R3.6m was outstanding.

Earlier Zwane denied that the cancer treatment machines were not in working order, but said he heard later that they were.

Bloom called the failure of the machines "absolutely shocking".

"Cancer patients at the [hospital] are being denied life-saving treatment because all four radiation machines have failed," said Bloom.

There was also a backlog of 120 patients who needed treatment as no new appointments had been made for the past two weeks, Bloom claimed.

Zwane, meanwhile, countered that patients were under the care of doctors and that if a patient's treatment was postponed it would be for medical reasons.

"Jack Bloom shouldn't pretend to be a doctor. Doctors should be allowed to make medical decisions without pressure from politicians," he said.
- SAPA
Read more on:    jack bloom  |  simon zwane  |  health
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