KZN health dept given deadline to finalise turnaround plan

2017-09-10 15:20
Hospital medical equipment. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Hospital medical equipment. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Durban - The KwaZulu-Natal health department has one month to give clear timelines toward resolving its many problems, Parliament's select committee on social services said on Sunday.

"The committee has instructed the provincial health department to provide… a detailed plan, with timelines, on how these challenges will be overcome within the next month," chairperson of the committee Cathy Dlamini said in a statement.

When it came to oncology care in the province, the committee welcomed an interim public private partnership arrangement.

"Private oncologists, medical officers, radiotherapists and oncology nurses [are] to deal with the oncology backlog," said Dlamini.

"The committee further welcomed the fact that besides the two broken oncology machines at Addington Hospital, cancer patients still receive other cancer treatment at other centres in the province."

READ: KZN health MEC to make submissions on cancer crisis

Interventions were also being made by the national health department.

"The committee was informed that there are three oncology centres and a satellite site (North Coast) in the province that provide both chemotherapy and radiotherapy."

'Horrified'

Dlamini said that living condition at the Zamani Transit camp community in uMlazi left the committee "horrified".

"The community that lives a stone's throw away from a waste water treatment plant were promised to be moved to proper housing units following the 2010 soccer world cup and they are still waiting."

The committee has called on the human settlements department and eThekwini Municipality to assist in the matter.

Oversight visits were conducted at Addington Hospital and the Cato Manor Community Health Centre. It also met with the health MEC.

Problems uncovered included job vacancies and a low skills base, supply chain management, infrastructure, and a lack of equipment and underfunding.

"The committee was horrified to learn that… at Addington Hospital the mortality rate within the maternity ward was high mainly because of lack of staff.

"While we acknowledge that the ward at Addington deals with primarily high risk pregnancies, it is unacceptable that the quality of services has been compromised due to inadequate staffing," said Dlamini.

"The committee will await the requested reports and will continue to monitor implementation of recommendations made by the committee."

Read more on:    durban  |  healthcare

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