The continued closure of the fire-damaged Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital (CMJH) is causing immense problems for patients, particularly those suffering from cancer who are not receiving treatment elsewhere.
Cancer patients who manage to get through to the hotline are told to go to Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital for chemotherapy, or Steve Biko Hospital for radiotherapy, but they have to go as new patients, which delays their treatment.
In one case, a patient was told that she had to go through a series of tests to be diagnosed for cancer even though this was already confirmed at CMJH.
These cancer patients have effectively been abandoned and their lives are at avoidable risk.
The best option in view of limited state resources is for private hospitals to be contracted to treat the cancer patients affected by the closure of the Oncology unit at CMJH.
Alternative arrangements need to be made as soon as possible as it is unlikely that the CMJH Oncology unit will open soon as it is in the most damaged part of the hospital.
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