Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Health Spokesman

4517 patients are on waiting lists for operations at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital.

This astounding figure is revealed in a written reply by Gauteng Health MEC Hope Papo to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature.

The biggest backlog is in Urology, where 2000 patients wait two years for an operation.

At Ophthalmology, 700 patients wait for 12 months to have their cataracts removed, and 250 other patients wait three months for major eye surgery.

Other backlogs and waiting times are as follows:

* Paediatrics – 480 patients waiting 3 months

* Gynaecology – 400 patients waiting 7 months

* General surgery – 436 patients who can wait between 7 days and 6 months depending on the sub-speciality

* Orthopaedic – 10 month waiting period for 200 patients

* Ear, nose and throat – 6 weeks wait for 51 patients

According to Papo, reasons for the long lists for include problems with equipment and infrastructure e.g. malfunctioning air conditioners and compressors.

Delayed surgery leads to much suffering. Patients deserve better than long waits and frequently cancelled operations.

The situation at the Urology department is especially bad and needs focused attention.

Every effort must be made to cut all the surgery backlogs drastically.

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