KZN Health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo blocked the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) from conducting oversight visits during their probe into the province’s oncology crisis — an illegal action against a Chapter 9 institution.
Dr Imran Keeka, DA KZN spokesperson on health writes that a briefing by the SAHRC in a meeting of the National Health Portfolio Committee, revealed that Dhlomo, blocked the SAHRC from conducting oversight visits during their probe.
Keeka writes: “In June, the Commission found the MEC and his department guilty of violating the rights of cancer sufferers in the province when it failed to provide relevant services and treatment in the province’s two major hospitals.
“MEC Dhlomo’s refusal to allow the Commission to oversight must be the final nail in his coffin. Refusing a Chapter 9 institution to exercise its constitutional mandate is illegal and the DA urges the SAHRC to take legal action against MEC Dhlomo.
“Today’s meeting was a victory for the DA after the MEC and his department were summoned by the chair of the Health Proposal Committee to appear in Parliament. It is high time that the MEC accounts for its lack of action during this crisis.
“Regrettably, the meeting also exposed National Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi’s two-week plan to resolve KwaZulu-Natal’s oncology crisis as little more than a sham designed to mislead the people of the province into believing that the ANC cares. It is clear that, like MEC Dhlomo’s plan, the minister’s plan is going nowhere.
“Equally, it is an indictment against KwaZulu-Natal’s own health portfolio committee that it did not invite the SAHRC to attend a meeting on the matter some two weeks ago. It is also the clearest indication yet that committee chair, Yusuf Bhamjee’s ANC handlers are pulling the strings and placing politics ahead of the needs of the people of KwaZulu-Natal.
“On Friday last week National Health Minister, Aaron Motsoaledi openly acknowledged that KZN’s healthcare system is in crisis. He has also recently admitted that the province’s Health Department is on the brink of collapse.
“In spite of this and the SAHRC’s Report, which found the MEC and his department guilty of violating the rights of cancer patients to adequate treatment, there is no indication to date that KZN Premier Willies Mchunu and his ANC-led cabinet have any intention of holding the MEC to account. Given this stance, the Premier now also has blood on his hands.
“The DA will be engaging with various stakeholders and will also follow up on updated information received during this morning’s portfolio committee. We will also engage with the HPCSA regarding training standards of oncologists without supervision, the office of the Health Standards Compliance and the National Health Ombudsman.”