The Democratic Alliance welcomes the planned return of patients to safe sections of the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital (CMJH) next week, but alternative arrangements for cancer patients need to be made urgently.
This is because the Radiation Oncology department is in the damaged section and will probably not re-open for patients for a number of months.
Steve Biko Hospital in Tshwane is the only other hospital that does radiation treatment, but they are already stretched with patients.
Lives will be put at risk if alternative arrangements are not made urgently for hundreds of CMJH cancer patients.
The Gauteng Health Department should expand capacity by organising cancer radiation treatment at the available machines in the evenings and over weekends.
They should also pay private hospitals to treat public patients for cancer.
Meanwhile, every effort should be made to speed up the repair of CMJH so that all specialist treatment can be resumed there as soon as possible.