Cancer patients turned away from hospital

2012-03-12 17:01

Johannesburg - Cancer patients were turned away at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic hospital on Monday after a radiation machine could not be repaired due to a payment dispute.

"According to our records payment has already been made," hospital spokesperson Lungiswa Mvumvu said.

The dispute was with service provider Siemens.

"The problem is they could not accommodate all the patients because they already had bookings."

Alternative arrangements had been made for patients to be treated within the hospital.

"They will be put into appointments within the week, but it could stretch to two weeks."

The hospital was unsure when the machine would be fixed.

Democratic Alliance provincial health spokesperson Jack Bloom in a statement said the machine broke down last Friday.

"I visited the oncology department and found that this is one of eight radiation machines that treats about 300 patients daily. The breakdown of this machine means that more than 30 patients could not be treated [on Monday]."

Bloom said part of the problem was an intermediary company called Phambili that had a complicated payment arrangement with Siemens.

"I agree with national Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi that this type of middle man is a problem as it unnecessarily pushes up costs. Payment disputes in Gauteng must end so that patients do not continue to be victims."

The Gauteng health department acknowledged there was a problem with the hospital's equipment.

Spokesperson Simon Zwane said in a statement the department was in contact with Siemens, and had been assured the machine would be repaired as soon as payment was received.

"The department would like to assure the community that while the hospital is awaiting the repair of the radiation machine, service delivery and care of patients will not be compromised," Zwane said.

In February, four radiation machines at the Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria also failed because of non-payment to Siemens.

  • Morama - 2012-03-12 17:14

    Normal south african way of life!!! What else can someone expect from the corrupt incompetent anc cadres?

      Max - 2012-03-12 17:25

      Agreed, as long as the BEE middleman gets his cut who the hell cares about the patients. Its BEE at al cost.

      Badgerspoon - 2012-03-12 20:50

      And the saddest thing is that even if these unfortunate schmucks end up lying at home dying a slow death from lack of treatment, they'll still vote ANC when given the option.

      amanda.victor2 - 2012-03-13 00:11

      Yet the government can find R6bn a year to house their ministers....

      Gollum - 2012-03-13 08:31

      "...service delivery and care of patients will not be compromised," Zwane said. The breakdown of this machine means that more than 30 patients could not be treated [on Monday]. Sorry Zwane, too late...patient care has already been compromised. I think what you really mean is "Don't worry, my salary, perks & pension won't be compromised"

  • Michelle - 2012-03-12 17:23

    When is this going to end??? A select few are leading the high life of fancy apartments and cars and first class air-travel.!!!! But the citizens who require basic health care is denied this due to a "complicated" method of payment K*K!!!!!!!!!!!

      Morama - 2012-03-12 18:38

      THis would only come to an end only if south africa can unite!!!

  • IAnon - 2012-03-12 17:24

    Cant administer one Hospital - yet want to implement NHI - the mind boggles.

  • Scatmanza - 2012-03-12 17:27

    The department of health owes Phambili around R36 million and because of this they are close to closing doors and retrenching all the employees. They exist because of the policies of affirmative action and BBEEE that bars companies like Siemens and Phillips from tendering directly. Stop trying to place the blame on businessmen who want to work for a living and are being punished for it. And before people start blaming Phambili as a BEE company only, they need to pay for all the parts and consumables used in services and that is where the costs are incurred and not paid for.

      Mzwandile - 2012-03-12 18:01

      @Scatmanza. Does the government need the services of Phambili in the first place. Government should procure these services themsselves and should also do payment themselves. You know in the Western Cape all procurement for government services are centralised in Cape Town and same as the payment. I find this working well because it elinimate corruption and improve payment times. We are creating intermediary companies unnecessary whereas functions are suppose to be done at government level. I won't be suprise if Phambili is owned by someone who was working for the procurement and accounts department and he left the services were outsource.

      Scatmanza - 2012-03-12 18:54

      Mzwandile: As U said Phambile is a legitimate company that also manufactures and provides 85% of all hospital detergents sold in South Africa, including in the Western Cape and also intoour neighbouring countries.I wouls assume the this also contribuyes to the R36mill owed to them. We have legitimate BEE companies that trade in a competitive market and we have fronting companies that only rely on tender business. I believe that phambile is one of the former companies. By the way I don't work for them

  • Steve - 2012-03-12 17:30

    BEE UTIFUL I couldnt even get to see a doctor, even with a referral letter from my doctor, at Addington they wanted to take my temperature with a thermometer they had put in about 40 peoples mouths and back into a kidney bowl with no antiseptic in it, not even water, told them where they could shove it

  • Comrade - 2012-03-12 17:37


  • Geoff - 2012-03-12 17:38

    Pathetic! Just one example of the declining standards and inept, useless management and administration taking place in our country. And its not only Healthcare...the rot is all around us!!! If it wasn't so sad it would be a joke!

  • Andrew - 2012-03-12 17:57

    And this imbicilic ANC Govt. wants to introduce a NHI???

  • James - 2012-03-12 17:57

    Thank God for worthy news. This is so news worthy I had to go and sh8t myself.

  • bluzulu - 2012-03-12 18:03

    Disgraceful at best,

  • Retta - 2012-03-12 18:06

    It is a shame when a business such as Siemans has to go through a BEE middleman in order to deliver their excellent service. The mind boggles. We the tax payers are paying for the BEE middleman. I wonder if the hold up on payment is from the BEE middleman...When is this shameful government going to behave in proper and and ethical manner. Health care should be at the top of the list, but sadly it is not.

  • Shaylene Stenger - 2012-03-12 18:10

    What a joke. And then there is talks of nationalising the health system and mines when they can't even run one hospital? The sad part is people continue to vote for this corrupt goverment. Seriously people catch awake up, more innocent and less fortunate people will continue suffering if this goverment stays in power

  • Neville - 2012-03-12 18:20

    Please sent that poor patient 2 Cape Town everything works here, They MUST get RID of those so call managers , they are no good , The ANC must be ashame if they know the meaning of the word ashame.

      Mzwandile - 2012-03-12 18:30

      I am so sure about that Jayden. I am told about endless stories of poor service, overcrowding and unnecessary deaths in hospitals like Jooste and Khayelitsha Hospital. The problem is that the ANC is concern about fighting amongst themselves instead of exposing the govenment

      Scatmanza - 2012-03-12 18:56

      Jayden you obviously haven't stood waiting for service at Groote Schuur or Tygerberg hospitals. I can get great service at Wigeheuwel hospital.

  • Neville - 2012-03-12 18:22

    This is the reason the Gov want's to shut the mouth of the MEDIA

  • Mantsho - 2012-03-12 19:52

    What are we going to do? when elections come, they will be running to go and vote fo this people again!!so let them suffer,when you vote with your heart instead of using your brain, this is the consequences, sorry but its true.

      Lacrimose - 2012-03-12 19:55

      What about the sick and needy who did not vote for them? Why should they suffer for someone else's misguided choices?

      TaniaSandraSteyn - 2012-03-12 22:41

      I spoke to a petrol attendant in our semi-rural area today. She had absolutely no notion that the notes were about to change to Madiba's instead of the Big 5. I spoke to some lets call them (various) on Saturday. They also had no notion. If SA's want to be ignorant, they should pay the price.

  • Gilad - 2012-03-13 01:36

    The middle man puts another carriage on the BEE gravy train transporting wealth to the pockets of the "nation". Sorry it has to be said, and well that's democracy ain't it.

  • brionyl.french - 2012-03-13 06:23

    Bet this machine would have been working under the old government or another government, the ANC doesnt care about people, life, education, health, the future, they care about lining their pockets with as much money as they can... Thieves!!!

  • Sharon - 2012-03-13 07:38

    & so the story goes,bribery,corruption,breakdown of essential services-it's NEVER going to end..................

  • Josie - 2012-03-13 08:10

    And they want to run a National Health Insurance!!!!! Just another tax and no benefits for tax paying suckers.

  • Rechelle - 2012-03-13 08:50

    Well we went to Kelefong hospital last night, and let me just tell you that it was a terrible experience. There was no one at the door that can help you take a patient inside, you have to do it all by yourself, while the porters sit on their arses! then the phone keeps ringing in emergency area, it just gets ignored! Yet again the receptionist was sitting right there. O and then there is the case of the hospital not having blankets to cover the patients, because eissshhhhh we are so busy! A month ago my aunt passed away because of the incompetence at Leratong hospital, because nurses decide whether a patient is sick enough, if not, they get sent home(according to the nurse), then you still have to pay, but a dr was never in sight! Not everyone can afford a medical aid, which is a very very sad situation, I would rather die than go to a government Hospital! Its so easy for them to just not pay, they dont give a sh*t about the people of South Africa, whether you are black, pink, yellow or white!

  • JakesLR - 2012-03-13 10:15

    Why do we actually still have goverment hospitals in SA? Why do our tax money still pay the salaries of goverment hospital staff when clearly there are very little goverment hospitals in SA who are still functional. This blows my mind..

  • Patti - 2012-03-13 10:26

    wait and see people - soon the hospitals will send dying patients who need to be resusitated back home and tell them to make an appointment.You have lost my vote anc.i just regret having given you too many chances.even a below average pupil from grade R would run this country better.

  • Susan - 2012-03-13 10:34

    I am a small business owner, government owes me quiet a bit of money, my business code is i never stop deliveries even through non- payment, it's the big corporates like Siemens that give the department such grief without thinking about peoples lives, it's all about the money..

  • Melanie - 2012-03-13 11:34

    the patients have already been compromised you pathetic imbecile! no one gives a continental sh#t about anyone else anymore. the incompetance of this country is embarrassing because the bloody masses have no clue what they are doing. And NO there is bugger all racist about my comment. just FACT!

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