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Groote Schuur donors beef up resources to tackle surgery backlog

Groote Schuur Hospital (GSH) still needs R2.7m to reach its R15m target needed this year to reduce its backlog of 6,000 operations.

Last month the Department of Health and Wellness’s Mark van der Heever said the Western Cape had a backlog of about 80,000 non-essential surgeries, including some 30,000 minor procedures.

As of a week ago, Groote Schuur had notched up 78 of the 1,500 surgeries it aimed to complete in the first year of its Surgical Recovery Project. It also, last week, opened its E4 theatre, which will specifically address the surgical backlog and waiting list.

Dr Shrikant Maurice Peters, public health medicine specialist at the hospital, told the Cape Argus that funding and teamwork will help achieve the goal of completing the backlog surgeries.

“The Theatre Management Committee ExCo (medical superintendent, theatre matron, head clinical services anaesthesiologist and head of surgery) are scheduling lists to surgical disciplines on a weekly basis,” he said.

“The lists are made possible by the funds received for extra surgeons, anaesthetists and theatre nurses, which we are using to boost our theatre capacity for this project.”

Groote Schuur Hospital spokesperson Alaric Jacobs said COVID-19 had contributed to the backlog, and as of 1 May, catch-up surgeries had begun at the ophthalmology department as well as on those on the breast diagnostic list.

“In this incredible example of collaboration between the provincial government, civil society, Gift of the Givers and more than 200 individual citizens and businesses, the Surgical Recovery Project at GSH is now in full swing,” Jacobs said.

Kirsty Evans, executive director of the Groote Schuur Hospital Trust, said the aim was to raise R15m “for Year One of the project, which covers the costs of hiring staff for one year to staff the two operating theatres in the E4 theatre space”.

Gift of the Givers contributed R5m million and the provincial Health and Wellness Department put up R6m for surgeries in the Metro West.


Surgical Recovery Project donations (Open access)


Cape Argus article – Teamwork, funding and discipline is the secret to completing surgery backlog, say doctors (Open access)


See more from MedicalBrief archives:


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


How Groote Schuur Hospital’s ICU adapted to the pandemic


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




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