The Inkatha Freedom Party calls on the KwaZulu-Natal MEC of Health, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo to urgently appoint a task team to conduct an audit and investigate the condition of critical medical equipment at all provincial hospitals after a 11 year old child was injured when an X-Ray machine broke down on top of her at Prince Mshiyeni Hospital.
“I really don’t understand why machines are not being repaired or properly maintained. What has happened at Prince Mshiyeni Hospital is a wake-up call for the MEC of Health and his Department officials. We are concerned about the state of the equipment that are being used at this hospital, especially the old ones. It is frightening to contemplate what will happen when the other equipment stop working or are damaged? The Department has to decide whether it would be better to allocate more funds to purchase new equipment or whether it would be cost-effective to repair the old equipment. It is essential that medical equipment must always operate at full capacity as this could mean the difference between life and death for patients. When equipment malfunction, effective health care services are compromised and saving lives will be difficult,” said Mrs Ncamisile Nkwanyana MPL, IFP KZN Provincial Spokesperson on Health,
“Over the years there has been a sharp deterioration in healthcare at hospitals and clinics in KZN, marked by shortages of medicines, collapsing infrastructure, broken equipment, and inadequate provision of staff. This has led to a situation in which the access to health care services and patients' dignity is compromised on a daily basis,” continued Mrs Nkwanyana.
“Equipment needs to be audited and a plan needs to be drawn up to ensure that budgets are made available for the replacement of old equipment. The failures within the healthcare system must be addressed as a precursor to the implementation of the National Health Insurance (NHI). A failure to remedy this would be a violation of the constitutional rights of patients and a further breach of the KZN Department of Health's obligations. The gross disregard for the legal obligations by the KZN Department of Health and the vital oversight function of the National Department of Health is extremely worrying and cannot be allowed to continue unchallenged,” concluded Mrs Nkwanyana.
Mrs Ncamisile Nkwanyana
IFP KZN Provincial Spokesperson on Health
078 302 3991