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HomeNews UpdateMarathon surgery collaboration cuts Kimberley hospital backlog

Marathon surgery collaboration cuts Kimberley hospital backlog

In collaboration with Gift of the Givers, surgical teams performed 72 operations at the Northern Cape’s only tertiary academic hospital last weekend, the Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe Hospital in Kimberley, in efforts to reduce a backlog in elective surgeries of some 350 cases.

Head of the hospital’s general surgery division, Dr Ahmed Bayat, initiated the catch-up project, saying some patients had been waiting for months to undergo these surgeries.

“It’s been very frustrating for me. I’ve got a fantastic team of medical officers and interns who support me and my fellow consultants and in desperation, I turned to Dr Imtiaz Sooliman of Gift of the Givers and I told him, I’ve got a problem. He listened to me, told me to send him a WhatsApp, and within a couple of minutes of him receiving my message, he put it on the Gift of the Givers volunteers group. Within five minutes we had a massive response from GPs, physicians, surgeons, anaesthetists, nurses, you name it.”

Bayat says these surgical teams had worked for more than 12 hours daily to perform a range of procedures, including cancer treatment, cholecystectomies, which involves the removal of the gall bladder, and procedures to treat a range of gastrointestinal diseases.

Hospital management plans to keep up the momentum, as well as partnerships with other organisations, to reduce the number of patients requiring surgery.

Sooliman told EWN that scrub sisters and anaesthetists from Cape Town and Johannesburg joined the surgical team in Kimberley to help perform these procedures over three days.

“It’s a fantastic combination where the hospital makes the theatre available, the floor sisters… They needed some consumables that we provided, they needed scrubs, which we provided but it’s the full support of the CEO, the medical superintendent, the Department of Health in the Northern Cape.”

The hospital’s acting CEO, Dr Alastair Kantani, said the hospital has limited staff, especially specialist theatre nurses and anaesthetists, to be able to run the full spectrum of its eight theatres.


EWN article – NC hospital launches project to cut backlog in elective SURGERIES


See more from MedicalBrief archives:


Backlog of nearly 200 000 elective surgeries at public hospitals


Critical need for national strategy to address chronic surgical backlog


Free State hospitals: patient waits 7 months for surgery, others sleep in chairs


Surgery catch-up stymied by South Africa’s shortage of ICU nurses


Prioritise cataract surgeries, urge SA experts as backlogs build up



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