Stricken MP pleads for cancer centre

2013-10-22 19:39
(Dan Calderwood, News24)

(Dan Calderwood, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - Terminally-ill politician Mario Oriani-Ambrosini returned to the National Assembly on Tuesday with a poignant call for a new centre for the treatment of cancer.

Rising to deliver a statement in the House, the gaunt-looking IFP MP - who revealed earlier this year that he was stricken with inoperable lung cancer - told members the current "scientific paradigm" on the disease was wrong.

Oriani-Ambrosini took leave from his post earlier this year. In a statement in May, he announced he had been diagnosed with cancer.

"Suddenly, and without significant prior symptoms... I received a diagnosis of stage four lung cancer, which has extensively metastasised throughout my pleura.

"The condition is terminal and not operable, and, if left untreated, will cause me to be removed from all lists for Christmas functions or gifts," he said at the time.

On Tuesday, as he stood with the aid of a stick to speak, he was greeted with long applause from fellow MPs across the House that twice stopped the start of his statement.

Speaker Max Sisulu told him: "Honourable member, welcome back; we're delighted to have you back."

Oriani-Ambrosini said 10 million people died world-wide of cancer each year, and new strategies were needed to deal with the disease.

However, the current legal framework in South Africa allowed only certain treatments to be administered to sufferers.

Further, only those treatments developed for profit by medical conglomerates were permitted, while alternatives were "prohibited from being administered" to patients.

Appeal for funding

Millions of people were "going through this hell of being a cancer patient, and die and suffer, possibly unnecessarily", because government was not funding research and expediting approval for treatments where there was no profit to be made.

Oriani-Ambrosini then appealed to Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi to "establish in this country a centre, which can bring together different treatments for cancer".

Responding, Motsoaledi said he had taken note of the appeal.

"I take note of what you said and will be eagerly waiting to welcome you to the department of health and listening to you attentively."

In his statement in May this year, Oriani-Ambrosini said he was pursuing a course of treatment "based on different science, not on an alternative to science".

He had been receiving this treatment for a while.

"At this point, I shall not speak or vouch for such a treatment, nor discredit it. My death or survival will do so," he said at that time.

Read more on:    ifp  |  aaron motsoaledi  |  max sisulu  |  mario oriani-ambrosini  |  cape town  |  parliament 2013  |  health

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.