Joburg Hospital unable to train new heart surgeons

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow Health MEC

I am shocked and appalled that the cardiac unit at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital has reportedly lost accreditation to train new heart surgeons.

This is a huge blow to the future of specialist heart surgery in Gauteng as the only other cardiac unit for training is at the Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria.

The Health Professions Council of South Africa has yet to give reasons for the loss of accreditation, but it is probably due to a shortage of surgeons to train registrars and a lack of vital equipment like ICU beds.

Doctors at the hospital have warned for some time that accreditation for training could be lost, but hospital management has ignored their pleas.

The Anaesthetics Department could also lose accreditation because of a lack of specialist anaesthetists.

This hospital is plagued by poor management, which is why R53 million of its R80 million equipment budget was not spent in the 2013/14 financial year.

Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu must intervene to ensure that this flagship hospital maintains high standards and is able to train new specialists for the future.