Academic Hospital’s acting chief executive Dr Mathabo Mathebula has denied allegations that the hospital’s oncology ward was under capacity and on the verge of collapse.

“We need to clarify that at no stage was there a shut down. At no stage was there any machines broken down, it was the air conditioning that was being repaired and we battled to fix it.

“It got repaired over time for two months, it was being repaired by the Department of Infrastructure until we resorted to calling the machine manufacturers to install the air cooling system that is now working,” Mathebula said.

She was briefing the media after the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) conducted a site inspection at the hospital following the allegations, earlier today.

Media reports alleged that about 934 cancer patients were awaiting radiation treatment at the hospital.

There were also reports about the hospital’s failure to recruit an adequate number of staff and repair the broken down machines which resulted in a backlog in terms of patients awaiting treatment.

In light of the allegations the commission visited the facility to test the veracity.

Subsequent to the site inspection, SAHRC Provincial Manager Buang Jones said: “ We will analyse information that we have made from this investigation. We’ve received a response from the hospital, we’ll have to go through that and satisfy ourselves first before we make any pronouncement.

“We hope that within the period of the 180 days we would have concluded our investigation and will make the public aware of the our findings and recommendations to the hospital”.

Jones conceded that they were satisfied with their observations and noted commendable actions taken by the hospital to ensure patients were satisfied.


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