The Gauteng health department has denied claims that former police chief Jackie Selebi received preferential treatment over other patients needing kidney dialysis.
Health spokesman Simon Zwane said the health department had “no say” in when Selebi got his treatment.
“The decision to provide treatment is taken by doctors based on medical grounds, not on political grounds,” Zwane said in a statement.
Earlier, it was reported that Selebi received treatment at a Pretoria public hospital while a terminally ill woman was turned away.
The Times newspaper said Suzette Janse van Rensburg was told she had a month to live and would have died if her family had not paid R66 000 for the kidney treatment at a private hospital.
Her son-in-law Martin Kriek expressed shock at the news that Selebi was being treated at Steve Biko Academic Hospital, while 82
patients were on the dialysis waiting list.
“Why is he getting better treatment than my mother or anybody else in the same boat?”
Janse van Rensburg, who suffers from chronic renal failure, approached Charlotte Maxeke hospital for dialysis but was told that there were 10 patients ahead of her on the waiting list.
She would only move up the list if other patients either died or received kidney transplants.
“I was saddened and depressed that the State could not do anything for me,” Janse van Rensburg said.
The corruption-convicted Selebi was granted medical parole on Friday. - Sapa