IFP calls for KZN health MEC to be fired

KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo. (Themba Mngomezulu, Gallo Images, Sowetan)
KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo. (Themba Mngomezulu, Gallo Images, Sowetan)

Durban - The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) has called for the KwaZulu-Natal MEC for health to be removed from his post immediately.

"It is either the people of KwaZulu-Natal or Dr [Sibongiseni] Dhlomo. We have raised several concerns in the past about the poor state of services offered by provincial hospitals but the [MEC] is turning a blind eye and our concerns are falling on deaf eyes," IFP spokesperson on health, Ncamisile Nkwanyana said on Friday.

Dhlomo on Thursday explained to the KZN Legislature why there were no oncologists in the KZN health sector.

He was also responding to a damning report by the South African Human Rights Commission that found the department failed its cancer patients.

READ: KZN premier says no reasons to fire health MEC

The 68-page SAHRC report found that "the delays in the provision of‚ and in some cases the denial of‚ oncology services to cancer patients‚ some of whom are destitute and in need of health care‚ affects them in a most fundamental way".

Premier Willies Mchunu also said that he did not see why Dhlomo should be fired. According to Mchunu there was no "dereliction of duty" on the part of the MEC.

Nkwanyana said that the African National Congress provincial leadership had to "make a hard decision" on whether to put the public or Dhlomo first.

She said Dhlomo failed dismally to provide leadership in his department. She said several hospitals in KZN are in a critical "state of disrepair resulting in the violation of the public’s right to health care services.

"As the IFP, we are of the view that the MEC must be held personally responsible should any patient die as a result of adverse conditions at hospitals resulting from a lack of maintenance of equipment and infrastructure," Nkwanyana said.

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