News / South Africa / Health

Citizen Reporter
1 minute read
27 Nov 2019
2:48 pm

3,294 operations cancelled at Baragwanath

Citizen Reporter

Overbooking and a shortage of beds and equipment are two reasons for the alarming cancellation rate.

The entrance to Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, 7 June 2015, in Soweto, Johannesburg. Picture: Alaister Russell

3,294 operations were cancelled at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital between January 2018 and the end of September this year, according to the Democratic Alliance (DA).

The party says Gauteng health MEC Bandile Masuku revealed this in a written reply to a question posed by MPL Jack Bloom in the Gauteng provincial legislature.

In the reply, the following reasons were cited for the cancellations.

  • 1,262 were cancelled due to overbooking
  • 963 were cancelled due to a shortage of ICU beds
  • 559 cancellations were patient-related
  • 210 were because of a shortage of consumables
  • 115 were equipment-related
  • 312 were infrastructure-related

“Most of these factors are avoidable, caused by poor management that overbooks patients or fails to ensure working machinery and surgical supplies. The shortage of ICU beds for post-operative recovery is also of concern,” said Bloom.

“The high number of cancellations is distressing for both patients and staff and worsens the long waiting times for surgery – more than 6,000 patients currently wait more than six months for surgery at this hospital.”

Masuku, in his reply, said steps were being taken to reduce cancelled operations.

These include the implementation of improved booking systems, indicating operating times, performing some operations in cluster hospitals, adding and extending certain lists, and strengthening the hospital’s cluster systems and outreach.

“I hope that better management cuts the unacceptably high cancellation of operations at this major hospital,” Bloom said.

(Compiled by Daniel Friedman)

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