The Inkatha Freedom Party calls on the Medicines Control Council to urgently approve the all-important Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine, which protects the child from severe types of Tuberculosis (TB).
“We have learnt that there is a dire shortage of this vaccine country wide as this have also affected some new born babies in KwaZulu-Natal. The delay in approving this much needed vaccine is unnecessary and this issue must be resolved without any further delay. It is unacceptable that there are gaps in medicine supply and delivery in KZN state hospitals and clinics. There should be more use of direct supply from companies to health facilities instead of reliance on inefficient regional depots.
Severe shortages of medicines make it difficult for many people to obtain essential medical care. Authorities have not articulated or implemented effective policies to alleviate it on their own. The KZN people’s right to healthcare continue to be seriously undermined, with no end in sight,” said IFP KZN Provincial Spokesperson on Health, Mrs Ncamisile Nkwanyana MPL.
“Continued inaction on this issue will undoubtedly result in much more than a summer of discontent. This drug shortage has been going on for months now and there is no indication as to if and when it might end. Contingency plans should be put in place by all medical suppliers so that if supply is interrupted, patients are not affected. The KZN Provincial Government should develop and implement effective policies to address the crisis in KZN’s health sector,” continued Mrs Nkwanyana.
“Whatever the cause, drug shortages have become a key patient safety concern in healthcare today. The urgency of this situation suggests that the current “business as usual” approach is woefully inadequate in every respect; this issue requires a disaster-type response.
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 of 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 MPL,
IFP KZN Provincial Spokesperson on Health,
078 302 3991