Note to Editors: This statement follows an oversight visit conducted by the DA Shadow Minister of Health, Patricia Kopane MP, and the DA KZN Health Spokesperson, Dr Imran Keeka MPL, to the Addington Hospital in KwaZulu-Natal.
Today my colleague, Dr Imran Keeka MPL, and I were forcibly denied entry into the Addington Hospital in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) after the KZN Provincial Health Department suddenly revoked our permission to do an oversight visit to both the Addington and Inkosi Albert Luthuli Hospitals.
When we tried to gain access to the oncology department at the Addington Hospital, we were met by armed security who barred us from entering.
Members of Parliament have a Constitutional mandate to conduct oversight visits.
It seems as though the KZN Health Department is hiding something – we now question whether the oncology services at the hospital have been improved at all.
The arrogance with which the KZN Health MEC, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo, handled this visit is completely unacceptable – as it is because of his seeming mismanagement that hundreds of cancer patients lost their lives.
The DA reiterates our call for Dhlomo to be removed from his post and we are exploring various avenues to ensure that he faces the full consequences of his failures.
The SAHRC report found that both the provincial and the national Departments of Health were complicit in the violation of “the rights to human dignity and life of the affected patients” when they “failed to take reasonable measures to progressively realise the right to have access to health care services in the KZN province”.
The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal’s continued protection of the MEC is parallel to protecting a human rights violator. Both the national and the provincial Heath Departments are guilty of putting the needs of the sick and vulnerable last.
The SAHRC report into this matter has now been tabled in Parliament. As soon as Parliament resumes its business, the committee must summon the MEC and his department to explain what has been done since the uncovering of this complete disregard for the lives of people.
The DA will not be deterred by the MEC and the KZN Health Department’s intimidation tactics. We will continue to fight for our people’s right to have access to quality healthcare services.