Joint surgery cancelled at Joburg Hospital as theatre overheats

Statement by Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow Health MEC:

An overheating operating theatre has caused the cancellation of arthroplasty surgery at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital.

Arthroplasty is an orthopedic surgical procedure that is done to relieve pain and restore function to joints after damage by arthritis or some other type of trauma.

Special arrangements had been made with extra staff in order to bring down the long waiting lists for surgery on knee and hip joints, but patients are now sitting dejectedly in waiting rooms.

More than 400 patients at the hospital wait for up to six months for knee and hip surgery.

Last year it was revealed that 310 operations had been cancelled at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital from January to August for a variety of reasons.

It is very stressful for patients to refrain from food and prepare themselves for surgery that is cancelled at the last moment.

Poor maintenance is to blame in many instances for the failure of machinery that is needed for surgery, such as air-conditioning.

Theatres should optimally be kept at a temperature of 18 degree Celsius.

The latest machine failure highlights the need to improve maintenance at our hospitals which continue to be plagued by machinery breakdowns.