KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo has announced steps to bring the average waiting period to treat new cancer patients in Durban in line with the accepted norm by the end of April.

This comes after a damning Human Rights Commission report in 2017 that the department was violating patients’ rights due to waiting periods of up to seven months for treatment.

Dhlomo says a contract has been concluded with the Wits Health Consortium to provide three oncologists a week to bolster cancer treatment services at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Hospital from next week.

“We are thus elated that 150 new patients and 300 follow-up patients per month will be seen at this hospital. We just have the tools, but we do not have the professionalism that is brought by these leaders. Indeed, this contract will cut down waiting times. Waiting time is going to be reduced to 6 weeks from 8 weeks.”