Friday, 19 July, 2024
HomeNews UpdateDonations plea to fund Groote Schuur’s 6,000 surgery patients’ backlog

Donations plea to fund Groote Schuur’s 6,000 surgery patients’ backlog

A Surgery Recovery Project has been launched by Groote Schuur Hospital in partnership with humanitarian group Gift of the Givers to raise R10m to reduce the backlog of 6,000 surgery patients on the waiting list.

The collaboration plans to raise the funds by May, reports News24.

Dr Bhavna Patel, Chief Executive Officer of Groote Schuur, said that between 10,000 and 15.000 patients have had their operations cancelled over the past two years.

Gift of the Givers has donated R5m to the project and is challenging individuals and businesses to match this, said founder Dr Imtiaz Sooliman, who added that they had supported 210 hospitals nationwide during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is a collective effort initiated by Groote Schuur, and the aim is for them to be able to do 1,500 procedures. We have to do it. We have to get the funding and we have to get it fast, not in six months’ time, but today. People cannot wait another year to get sorted out.”

In 2019, said Patel, the hospital was doing about 19 000 operations. “The number of operating theatres had to be reduced by about 40%. We had to reallocate theatre staff to the COVID-19 and COVID ICU wards. So about 10,000 to 15,000 patients have not have their operations over the past two years.”

Dr Lydia Cairncross, head of General Surgery at the hospital, said more than 6,000 patients were awaiting for essential surgery. “They’re waiting for joint replacements; there are patients going blind waiting for cataract surgery; patients with chronic hernias; men with urinary retention waiting for prostate surgery; women with cervical and ovarian cancer or with breast cancer or breast diagnostic surgery…”

She told News24 that the health system was “bursting at the seams” and there was “no space to address a backlog”.

The funds raised will provide 1 500 deserving patients with operations for a year.

“We hope to run 500 theatre lists over one year, providing 1,500 to 2,000 operations. At R15m for the year, this means that for every R10,000 donated we can do one operation. On average we will do three operations on each theatre list.”

Patel added: “Our staff have offered to work free, our surgeons have offered to work free on Saturdays and Sundays, and many of our nurses are working overtime to accommodate this. That shows the willingness of our staff to do what they can for the patients.”


News24 article – Plea for funds to cut surgery delay (Open access)


See more from MedicalBrief archives:


How Groote Schuur Hospital’s ICU adapted to the pandemic


‘Not a single vaccinated person in COVID-19 high care ward’ — Groote Schuur doctor


Cancer Alliance: R50bn needed for cancer over next decade


Cancer Alliance explores legal options to compel public/private treatment partnership



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