RIGHT OF REPLY: Reducing the surgical and cancer treatment backlogs is an urgent priority

Following an article in Spotlight bemoaning “the lack of urgency” by the Gauteng Department of Health in addressing cancer and surgical backlogs despite having been allocated funds toward this, Dr Stephen Mankupane, Acting Head of Hospital Services in the provincial health department, writes that there is no disputing the fact that there is a need to act with urgency in attending to these backlogs and outlines what the department is doing. Here is his response in full.

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OPINION: Worrying lack of urgency as Gauteng Health sits on money earmarked to outsource urgent cancer treatment

It is almost three months since – partly through the efforts of SECTION27 and Cancer Alliance – money was made available to the Gauteng Health Department to outsource radiation oncology services and address surgical backlogs in the province. It is deeply worrying that despite being provided with resources for this outsourcing project, very little has been done to date to ensure that patients get the long overdue care that they need, writes Khanyisa Mapipa.

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Cancer surgeon resigns and volunteers withdraw from Helen Joseph Hospital

The resignation of renowned breast cancer specialist surgeon Professor Carol-Ann Benn from the Helen Joseph Hospital has fuelled concerns about the loss of expertise for the public health sector amid existing pressures on cancer services in Gauteng. Ufrieda Ho spoke to health authorities, patients, and breast clinic volunteers about the potential impact on cancer care at the hospital.

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