By Jack Bloom MPL, DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health:
800 patients are currently on the waiting list for orthopaedic operations in Gauteng hospitals, and some of them will wait up to three years for hip replacement surgery.
This was disclosed yesterday by Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu in an oral reply to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature.
According to Mahlangu, emergency orthopaedic cases are done daily, and take no longer than 14 days.
She said that people lost mobility when operations were delayed and the department had apologized for this.
I welcome her announcement that the department is finalizing a plan to wipe out the surgery backlog. This will require extra theatre time, availability of intensive care beds and collaboration with the private health sector.
Earlier this year, we were shocked by the case of Mr Aubrey Moerane who was told by the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital that he would have to wait 7 years for a hip operation.
I look forward to the new measures which hopefully alleviate the suffering of many patients who need hip, knee or spinal surgery, some of whom are currently in wheelchairs.