healthcareDaily News reports that oncologists and radiotherapists from the private sector will provide oncology services at public health facilities, while the Department of Health is recruiting replacements to treat cancer patients.  

This was indicated by department spokesperson Sam Mkhwanazi after questions were posed about the mass exodus of oncologists from state-owned medical facilities to private practice.  Currently, there are only two oncologists left at Grey’s Hospital in Pietermaritzburg, while there are none Durban.  Last week, the last oncologist based at Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital resigned.  This hospital sees, on average, at least 80% of the province’s cancer patients.  Mkhwanazi said the head of the oncology clinical unit at Grey’s would oversee the management of patients both hospitals, while other private oncologists and radiotherapists from the Hopelands Oncology Clinic would assist.  The department has advertised posts to fill vacancies.  According to Noel Desfontaines of the Health and Other Service Personnel Trade Union of SA (Hospersa), hordes of doctors were leaving because of poor working conditions, critical staff shortages and machines not being properly maintained.

Get other news reports at the SA Labour News home page