by Isak Fritz, MPL – DA Spokesperson of Health
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Date: 26 July 2018
The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Northern Cape is concerned that while the Provincial Government’s mortuary fleet is on the verge of collapse, the Provincial Health Department is not fazed by this ongoing crisis.
Six mortuary vans, that were procured two years ago, have yet to be delivered due to an outstanding settlement owed to Toyota by the Department. This is according to a report submitted by the Department to the Legislature. In the meantime, there continues to be a lack of adequate fleet to respond to service demands.
The prospect of bodies not being collected from crime or accidents scenes is appalling. Unless MEC Fufe Makatong urgently does something about this, the province is heading for a disaster.
Despite the Health Department having first raised the dire state of its mortuary fleet years ago already, it is most puzzling as to why the department has not responded to this impending crisis with concrete plans and actions.
Aside from the mortuary fleet, mortuary services have also been in a state of turmoil for a number of years already, with a lack of appropriate mortuary facilities at Kimberley and Kuruman in particular. There is also the continuous breakdown of mortuary fridges, not to mention the shortage of Forensic Pathology officers, doctors and specialists, as well as support staff, dedicated cleaners and data capturers.
The level of disregard for the dead, by this government, is disturbing.
The DA will write to Makatong, asking her to urgently intervene in provincial mortuary services before bodies start piling up. Failure to do so will only reinforce the perception that the NC’s ANC-led government does not care about the lives of the people of our province.
Only change under a DA-led government will ensure quality health care for the living, and dignified treatment of the dead.
Isak Fritz, MPL
DA Spokesperson of Health
083 395 2737
Shelley De Witt
082 847 1387