The Inkatha Freedom Party in KwaZulu-Natal wants the South African Human Rights Commission to institute an urgent investigation into the state of healthcare in KZN following several complains about poor maintenance of critical medical equipment and shortage of medical staff.
“It is now high time for the SAHRC to investigate the poor state of provincial hospitals as patients are being sent home from Addington Hospital after the cancer machines and other critical equipment are not in working condition. The disrepair means that patients who have already been diagnosed with cancer cannot be treated effectively and safely. Furthermore, at Prince Mshiyeni Hospital patients are alleged to be sent home and given extended dates to return in order to undergo operations as air conditioners are not working in the operating theatres. This is totally outrageous and is against human rights,” said IFP KZN Provincial Spokesperson on Health, Mrs Ncamisile Nkwanyana MPL.
“We have raised several concerns in the past about the poor state of services offered by provincial hospitals but the KZN MEC of Health, Dr Sbongiseni Dhlomo is turning a blind eye and our concerns are falling on deaf eyes. It is clear that the lack of basic resources in our hospitals have reached critical levels. Failing to repair the most important equipment which is meant to save lives impacts negatively on the rights of patients to have access to health care — as enshrined in Section 27 of the Constitution,” continued Mrs Nkwanyana.
“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,” concluded Mrs Nkwanyana.
The IFP demands that the KZN MEC of Health must, within clearly stipulated time-frames, address the infrastructural, administrative and other challenges that undermine the right to health care in all KwaZulu-Natal public hospitals. He must further conduct skills audits of senior management and implement appropriate interventions such as training and awareness campaigns to capacitate senior staff. We expect him to install appropriate infrastructure for the public health care system to function optimally; and provide funding to public health facilities, particularly in rural areas of the country.
Mrs Ncamisile Nkwanyana MPL
IFP KZN Provincial Spokesperson on Health
078 302 3991