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KZN Health MEC to appear before SAHRC over oncology crisis

The SAHCR last month issued Dlomu with a subpoena after he and his department were singled out in a report last year.

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

JOHANNESBURG - KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo is expected to appear before the South African Human Rights Commission on Monday to answer questions about his role in dealing with the province's oncology crisis.

The SAHCR last month issued Dlomu with a subpoena after he and his department were singled out in a report last year.

They were found to have violated the rights of oncology patients at the Addington Hospital and Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital.

A report by SAHCR found that the KwaZulu-Natal Health Department violated patients’ rights to access to healthcare services because officials failed to comply to the norms and standards set out in the law.

The report also found that the measures that the department committed to putting in place to end the crisis were “inadequate and unacceptable”.

The damning report came after the Democratic Alliance (DA) laid a complaint in 2016.

The party’s Imran Keeka says that they will attend today’s hearings and are looking forward to Sibongiseni Dhlomo’s testimony.

“We will attend to observe proceedings, as far as we’re concerned the entire crisis in KZN has been flat-footed.”

The report came in the wake of revelations that Durban's public oncology services were in crisis with doctors leaving government hospitals for the private sector because of unsatisfactory working conditions, including a lack of working equipment.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)