Radiation machines fixed - officials

2012-02-17 17:15
Pretoria - Two of the four radiation machines that were not working at the Steve Biko hospital in Pretoria have been fixed, the department of health said on Friday.

Spokesperson Simon Zwane said the machines were fixed on Thursday.

"A third machine, which is fixed now, will be working today [Friday]," he said.

The DA in Gauteng on Wednesday said all four radiation machines at the hospital were not working and cancer patients were not being treated.

Backlog of patients

DA provincial health spokesperson Jack Bloom said Siemens had refused to fix the machines because it was owed R120m by the department of health.

Initially, the department denied the machines were not working. It then said two of the machines only stopped working on Wednesday.

On Thursday, Zwane said hospital management had met Siemens and it was agreed that technicians would fix the machines.

Bloom claimed there was a backlog of about 120 cancer patients awaiting treatment.

Zwane said in response that if a patient's treatment had been postponed, it would have been for medical reasons.

The fourth radiation machine at the hospital would be fixed after technicians found new parts for it, said Zwane.

Hospital CEO Dr Ernest Kenoshi said a patient back-log "catch-up" programme would start on Friday.

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