by Andrew Louw – DA Northern Cape Premier Candidate
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Date: 21 October 2018
This Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the DA calls on Health MEC, Fufu Makatong, to increase access to cancer services, most notably screening for breast cancer.
This comes after it was revealed earlier this year the state-of-the-art Dr Harry Surtie Hospital had still not procured a mammography machine for the regional facility, four years after it opened. In effect, a limited number of patients are transported 400 kilometers to Kimberley Hospital, once a week, for screening.
This remains a serious service delivery failure that threatens the health of women living in the province’s rural areas.
Breast cancer is one of the most common types of cancer amongst South African women, with statistics indicating that one in 31 women is diagnosed in her lifetime.
Mammograms, meanwhile, are a screening tool that allow for early detection, which enables efficient treatment and the best chance at recovery.
It was previously indicated by the health department that it would only cost in the region of R1 million to procure a mammography machine for the Upington hospital. Yet, to date, no feedback on such procurement has been given.
Instead, poor planning and budgeting coupled with inefficient financial management throughout the health department, has time and time again led to the failure of the ANC government to prioritize this critical investment in women’s health care.
The DA calls on MEC Makatong to ensure that cancer services at the Dr Harry Surtie Hospital, especially the procurement of a mammography machine, is prioritized.
Cancer patients don’t have time to waste. The health department should strive to make access to early cancer detection a government priority, to ensure patients have the best chance at beating this disease.
Only change under a DA government ensure that access to lifesaving health services are made more accessible to all residents of the Northern Cape.
DA Northern Cape Premier Candidate
082 383 6914
Shelley De Witt
082 847 1387