Radiation machines being fixed - Gauteng

2012-02-16 14:50

Johannesburg - Two of the four radiation machines at Steve Biko Academic hospital which were reportedly not working are being repaired, the Gauteng health department said on Thursday.

"Following discussions by hospital management and the company [Siemens], the company agreed to fix two of the machines," department spokesperson Simon Zwane said.

On Wednesday, the DA in Gauteng said cancer patients at the hospital could not be treated as Siemens had refused to repair the machines because the department owed it R120m.

Zwane could not confirm when the machines would be ready.

"I don't know the technicalities, but we are hoping they will be fixed by today [Thursday] or tomorrow."

Zwane initially denied reports on Wednesday that the radiation machines were not working. Later, he said two of the four machines were functioning, and that the other two had stopped working on Wednesday.

DA spokesperson Jack Bloom said there was a backlog of about 120 cancer patients awaiting treatment.

Zwane said if a patient's treatment had been postponed, it would be for medical reasons.

He said Siemens had been paid R500 000 and that another R3.6m was being processed. The hospital could not immediately comment on the matter.

  • Francois - 2012-02-16 15:21

    If anyone dies, because the machines don't work, the person responsible for the repairs must be charged with culpable homocide.

  • Deon - 2012-02-16 15:41

    Not a good start towards NHI, rather keep at least a basic medical aid. Some state hospitals have people waiting for operations for more than 10 years.

  • criticallyhonest - 2012-02-16 17:58

    Worse than the incompetence is the absence of accountability. It means that nothing will be learnt no matter how bad it gets and who suffers. Only when we start to see blame, accountability and appropriate corrective action will there be any chance of anything improving. Till then keep your powder dry, and your family as safe as you can.

  • Juan - 2012-02-17 01:32

    Seems like Zwane doesn't have the foggiest clue what goes on in his own hospital, and he even lacks basic common sense. Scary stuff that we have people of such low caliber in charge of a hospital.

  • muneebnibo - 2012-02-19 18:01

    Disgraceful And it required the DA s intervention before anything was to be done. No comment

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