Massive toxicology backlog persists 

Issued by Michele Clarke MP – DA Shadow Minister of Health
10 Jan 2024 in News

Note to editors: Please find attached soundbite by Michele Clarke MP

The massive toxicology backlog at the forensic chemistry laboratories (FCLs) in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Pretoria persists with 37 962 tests outstanding as of 31 October 2023.

This was recently revealed by the Minister of Health in response to a written parliamentary question by the DA. The Minister also revealed the snail’s pace of analysis with a total of only 365 toxicology tests completed at the three FLCs during October last year.

The Minister blamed the backlog on inadequate infrastructure, broken equipment, loadshedding, inadequate water supply, the Covid-19 pandemic, and human resources shortages.

The DA will demand answers on the current backlog at each FLC, the current backlog of blood analysis at the Johannesburg FCL, and how the National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS) has expanded toxicology capacity in the various FLCs, as well as the progress made in expanding the services of the Durban FCL to include toxicology testing.

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