File picture: Motlabana Monnakgotla/Independent Media

JOHANNESBURG - Long waiting times for cancer treatment at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital (CMJH) are decreasing the survival chances of patients, the Democratic Alliance said on Sunday.

According to the hospital’s CEO Gladys Bogoshi, about 300 prostate cancer patients would have to wait two years for treatment, DA Gauteng MPL Jack Bloom said.

The waiting period for 50 breast cancer patients was between four and six months, and 150 patients for gynecological and other cancers would wait three to four months. 

"I am pleased that these figures have finally been revealed in response to a visit last week to the hospital by the SA Human Rights Commission. Earlier this year, Gauteng health MEC Gwen Ramokgopa covered up these disturbing figures in response to my questions, saying merely that the waiting time for treatment 'varies from month to month'.

"She gave the same vague reply to my questions on cancer treatment at the Steve Biko Hospital. The CMJH cancer unit is also struggling with only three radiation oncologists when five are needed. I hope that the SA Human Rights Commission can exert pressure to ensure that cancer treatment in Gauteng is properly resourced to provide quality treatment," Bloom said.

African News Agency/ANA