Linen crisis continues at Helen Joseph Hospital

By Jack Bloom MPL, DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health:

Helen Joseph Hospital in west Johannesburg has been plagued by a shortage of clean linen this entire month.

Last week on Thursday (23 July), about 25 operations were cancelled because of the linen shortage.

Ten more surgery cases were cancelled yesterday (27 July) for the same reason.

More than 20 operations were cancelled on 16 July and there was also disruption of surgery on 14 July and 7 July.

Theatre staff are at their wits end with all the cancellations because of something that should be easy to fix.

It is very distressing to tell patients that operations have to be deferred, especially with long waiting lists, which can be as long as three years for a hip operation.

The linen problem is caused by erratic supply from the laundry at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital which is unreliable because of a broken boiler.

This linen crisis cannot be allowed to continue.

Hospital management should be allowed to use private laundries which are cheaper and more efficient than dysfunctional state laundries.