310 operations cancelled at Joburg hospital this year

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow Health MEC

310 operations have been cancelled at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital from January to August this year, worsening a surgery waiting list of 1637 patients

This is revealed by Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu in a written reply to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature.

According to Mahlangu, these operations were deferred because of a lack of ICU beds, some patients changing their minds, patients booked but preceding patients taking longer than expected, and unstable patients requiring optimal stabilisation.

The worst waiting list is in Neurosurgery, where 500 patients will wait between six months and two years for operations.

Other waiting lists and waiting periods are as follows:

Orthopaedics                                    – 455 patients wait up to six months for knee and hip replacement, and for spinal surgery.

Urology                                              – 240 patients wait between 6 to 8 months.

Cardiothoracic                                  – 202 patients wait up to 8 months for valve replacements, coronary artery bypass and aortic surgery.

Paediatric                                          – 120 patients wait 3 months

Opthalmology                                   – 120 patients wait one month

The high number of cancelled operations is of concern, occurring mostly because of a shortage of ICU beds.

More theatre staff and ICU beds are needed to cut the long waiting lists which add to patients’ suffering.