Dr. Antoni... ( South Africa )
Published On

Wed, Feb 2022

Updated On

Wed, Feb 2022

22554 Sign of 100000 Goal

Nearly 2,000 patients are waiting to receive radiation treatment for cancer at Charlotte Maxeke Hospital in the province of Gauteng. With an increase in cancer incidence nationally, this is unacceptable because it leaves patients at risk of potentially losing their lives due to long waiting periods. Most patients in the public sector are diagnosed with late stage disease that requires more complex treatments including chemotherapy, radiation therapy and a combination of the two. The increase in the number of diagnosed cancer patients however does not come with an increase in the budget to accommodate new equipment and more appropriate health care professionals. 

Radiation Treatment at Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital( CMJAH) has been in crisis for at least 5 years. The ideal is to treat patients within three (3 months) after diagnosis. At CMJAH the current equipment and health care professionals are not adequate to treat the number of patients requiring treatment timeously. This means that the patient numbers far exceeds the supply (of treatment equipment time and oncology professionals), which as anyone with a basic understanding of economics will understand will lead to waiting lists for treatment. This has now resulted in a backlog of several years. COVID-19 and the recent fire at CMJAH has added further demand to an already stressed Oncology service (Medical and Radiation Oncology), negatively impacting treatment outcomes for patients.

Backlog at Charlotte Maxeke is a long list:

  • Prostate cancer patients have been waiting for +/- 5 years. Over 1 000 men are on the list awaiting potentially life-saving radiotherapy.
  • Breast cancer patients have been waiting for more than one year. About 500+ patients are affected. Some patients are diagnosed with a recurrence of their breast cancer before they receive the radiotherapy which could have potentially prevented the recurrence.  This also incurs further cost for Government as they require 2nd line chemotherapy and surgery before they are eligible for radiation treatment
  • Cervical cancer patients have been waiting for approximately 4-6 months. About 300 patients are affected. 
  • Palliative care waiting list for treatment is 2-4 weeks.  

Please sign this petition to ask Premier Makhura and MEC for Health, Dr Nomathemba Mokgethi, and CEO of Charlotte Maxeke Hospital, Ms Gladys Bogoshito:

  1. publicly acknowledge the Cancer crisis at CMJAH 
  2. establish a Task Team that will attend to these matters. Civils Society (Cancer Alliance and Treatment Action Campaign) is to be represented on this Task Team, along with appropriate technical experts, to advise and oversee the procurement of the required radiation equipment and services. The Task Team is to determine an integrated plan within 30 days after 4 February 2022 – World Cancer Day. 
  3. direct communication to all affected patients about their treatments. Civil Society is willing to assist with this process. It will require that we are given access to patients’ folders and their proposed treatment plans.

This petition is a collective effort between Cancer Alliance, Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) and Section 27.

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