Mortuary X-ray machine not in working order

2016-02-11 06:00

AN unannounced visit by the DA to the Port Shepstone mortuary on Tuesday revealed that the facility’s X-ray equipment has been broken for several months.

This after it was loaned to eThekwini’s Gale Street mortuary.

The device now no longer works and arrangements have been made to certify it as safe for use after transport - which is a basic requirement.

In the interim, bodies that require X-rays are being sent from Port Shepstone to eThekwini.

Not only is this causing delays for families who wish to lay loved ones to rest, it also delays vital forensic­ evidence, such as locating bullets in gunshot victims, for ballistics­ purposes. Urgent post-mortem examinations that require X-rays are also being delayed.

“The DA is deeply concerned by this discovery. Following Tuesday’s visit I immediately wrote to KZN’s health department requesting that the matter be urgently investigated and that the X-ray equipment be fixed.

“Yesterday I received confirmation that it would be looked into,” said Dr Imran Keeka, DA MPL.

He said the response was not good enough and the DA expects a response from KZN Health MEC, Sibongiseni Dlomo, who must treat this situation as urgent.

“He [Dlomo] must also explain why the machine was loaned to Gale Street mortuary in the first place and why it has taken a DA oversight visit for this matter to be prioritised.”

On the positive side, the DA found the Port Shepstone mortuary­ was a clean, well-run facility­ with other equipment in working order. Staff were courteous­ and showed compassion required given the position in which they work.

The people of KZN need a caring government. This is especially relevant in the health sector. In this case, the needs of the bereaved must be met. - Supplied.

KZN Department of Health spokesperson, Sam Mkhwanazi, said the department shares resources among its facilities as and when necessary to ensure that service delivery is not compromised.

“This includes when equipment is broken and requires repairing or servicing, which may take time due to among others, supply chain management processes.”

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