No gall bladder ops at Joburg Hospital since March last year

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

The Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital has not been able to do a single gall bladder operation since March last year because of broken laparoscopy equipment.

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

51 patients are currently waiting for gall bladder operations at the hospital. Normally, about six gall bladder operations are done every month, so the backlog is now more than 8 months because of the broken equipment.

According to Mahlangu, new laparoscopic equipment will be delivered in 6 to 8 weeks.

Meanwhile, patients are referred to the Helen Joseph Hospital for gall bladder surgery.

It is shameful that this major hospital has been for so long without a key piece of surgery equipment.

It is yet another example of equipment failure at this hospital.

Other broken machinery at the hospital this year includes the following:

  • Mammography machine to detect breast cancer;
  • Broken lifts;
  • Air-conditioning failure in operating theatres; and
  • Shortage of clean linen because broken sterilising machine.

The department should give a high priority to ensuring working equipment at this flagship hospital.