The Inkatha Freedom Party on Tuesday urged the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) to investigate the state of health care in KwaZulu-Natal.
She said that such an investigation was needed in the wake of several complaints over the poor maintenance of critical medical equipment and the 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,” IFP spokeswoman Ncamisile Nkwanyana said.
Nkwanyana said that at another Durban Hospital – Prince Mshiyeni Memorial Hospital – patients were being sent home because air conditioners were not working in the operating theatres.
“This is totally outrageous and is against human rights,” she said.
“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 ears.”
She said that the failure to repair critical equipment to keep hospitals functioning meant that the department was not able to save lives as it should be.
She pointed out that Section 27 of the constitution was a right that entitled patients to have access to health care.
“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,” she said, adding that she would lodge a formal complaint with the SAHRC.
– African News Agency