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'KZN Health MEC & execs should be charged for deaths of KZN cancer patients'

The Medical Rights Advocacy Network says the number of KZN cancer patients who have died as a result of the oncology crisis is possibly much larger than the Life Esidimeni tragedy.

KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo. Picture: KZNhealth.co.za

DURBAN - The Medical Rights Advocacy Network (Meran) says KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo and the provincial executive should be criminally charged for the premature deaths of cancer patients as a result of the ongoing oncology crisis.

During a briefing in February, the KZN Health Department said it would be partnering with the private sector, given that the province is without full-time oncologists.

The department claims four radiology machines are now working and the Wits Health Consortium has been brought in to assist with the backlog.

According to the Meran, the oncology crisis has led to an undisclosed number of deaths in the province. Meran’s Poonitha Naidoo says the provincial Health Department is to blame.

“The delay and the switching off of the equipment and not maintaining that equipment as required by law actually advanced these patients’ disease and caused their deaths.”

Meran says the number of KZN cancer patients who have died as a result of the oncology crisis is possibly much larger than the Life Esidimeni tragedy.

This they say is because most of the deaths are categorised as the result of natural causes.