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Health dept confirms forensic backlog

The Department of Health has confirmed a national forensic backlog of nearly 53,000 samples.

FILE: The Department of Health has confirmed a national forensic backlog of nearly 53,000 samples. Picture: Gia Nicolaides/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Department of Health Department says it's aware of the problem of backlogs at the country's forensic chemistry laboratories and is doing all it can to resolve it.

In response to a Parliamentary question, the department confirmed there is a national backlog of nearly 53,000 post mortem, toxicology and drunk driving samples.

The official opposition says the failure to provide timely analysis of samples results in delays in the investigations and prosecution of crimes.

The health department's Joe Maila says, "It's a problem to have a backlog like that. However, it's something we're aware of and we are working on it. We're adding the numbers to make sure that this problem is resolved."