Ten Thousand Patients Wait for Surgery in Gauteng Hospitals

Jack Bloom MPL DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Health There are 10 021 patients waiting for operations in Gauteng hospitals. This figure is given by Gauteng Health MEC Hope Papo in a written reply to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature. The worst surgery backlog is for cataracts, with 5844 patients waiting from 8 to 18 months for their operations. 1899 patients will wait up to a year for knee surgery, and 1662 patients are on the list for a hip replacement. There are 560 patients waiting for heart operations, and 56 patients need spinal procedures. According to Papo, the long waiting lists are due to “service demands or load that exceeds the capacity of our resources”. My view is that mismanagement is a major factor, and proper use of resources can bring down the waiting lists. In the short term, private providers should be contracted to bring down unacceptable waiting times. Patients suffer while waiting for surgery, so every effort must be made to reduce backlogs.

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