6,000 surgical patients in Gauteng face up to 3-year wait

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Nearly 6,000 patients are awaiting surgery at Gauteng’s major academic hospital, The Citizen reports. More than 4,000 were registered at George Mukhari Academic Hospital, while at Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital 1,850 patients were awaiting surgery, of which 35 were for transplants, 639 were ophthalmology surgeries and 539 were orthopaedic surgeries.

Transplant patients could expect to wait up to three years, while others could wait between six and 12 months.

The report says that the Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku, in replies to questions from the Democratic Alliance’s Jack Bloom, cited the high volume of emergency cases, a lack of intensive care unit beds and limited theatre capacity as reasons for the backlog. At George Mukhari, ageing buildings and staff shortages were compounding the problem.

Emergency cases at these hospitals had to be prioritised over elective surgeries. In a bid to ease the pressure of the high volume of surgery patients at state hospitals and to reduce waiting times, the department said it was redirecting surgeries to district hospitals.

The Citizen report

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