Jack Bloom MPL
DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health:
I am shocked at the disclosure by Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu that 4846 patients wait for surgery at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital.
According to a reply by Mahlangu to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature, eye surgery has the highest waiting list, with 1919 patients waiting for operations (40%), followed by 1325 orthopaedic patients (27%), 1200 urology patients (25%), general surgery with 357 patients (7%) and plastic surgery with 44 patients (1%).
Earlier this year there was outrage when a patient at the hospital was told that he would have to wait seven years for a hip operation.
The surgery backlogs have been worsened by frequent equipment failures and electricity power cuts.
I welcome the measures announced by Mahlangu to cut the backlogs, which include extended theatre hours and working with private hospitals.
Hospital management also needs to be improved, and given control over equipment maintenance which is presently done by the dysfunctional Infrastructure Development Department.
The huge suffering by patients at this hospital because of delayed operations is a scandal that should be ended soon.