Health committee chair appalled by state of KZN south coast mortuary
The national chairperson of the portfolio committee on health, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo, was appalled by the state of the Park Rynie Forensic Mortuary in KwaZulu-Natal after he conducted an oversight visit there at the weekend to support the families of those gunned down in uMbumbulu last week.
In a statement on Tuesday, the former MEC for health in the province said when he arrived at the mortuary, he was surprised to find no doctor on duty as the only doctor employed there was on leave.
"The facility does not have an x-ray machine, meaning all victims of shootings and other violent deaths have to be sent to other facilities. This causes delays when conducting postmortems."
Dhlomo said during his visit there were 13 bodies with gunshot wounds that would have to be sent somewhere else for x-rays.
"This creates unnecessary delays and wasting of resources for bodies to be moved up and down. The situation at Park Rynie mortuary is totally unacceptable. I will be discussing the matter with health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize. We cannot allow a facility to be run down to that extent.”
He said when doctors working at the now closed Gale Street Mortuary were given a choice of being transferred to another facility, none chose Park Rynie and the vacant posts there remain unfilled.
According to the health portfolio committee, the Park Rynie facility serves a large community of the south coast stretching from Umbumbulu and past Umkomaas.
With the closure of Gale Street Mortuary in Durban, the communities of Umlazi and Isipingo - comprising more than 1.5-million people - have had to be accommodated by the Park Rynie facility, further exacerbating the problem.