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By Narissa Subramoney

Deputy digital news editor


780 operations cancelled at Charlotte Maxeke Hospital

At least 453 children will wait between six months and two years to receive the required medical attention at Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital.


Gauteng Health MEC, Nomathemba Mokgethi, says over 780 operations were cancelled at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital last year, worsening the long waiting lists for surgery which has grown to 2 677 patients.

Mokgethi was responding to questions by the DA’s shadow MEC for health in the province, Jack Bloom.

The MEC’s response revealed that paediatric surgeries were the most affected, with 610 cancelled operations.
The other cancellations include:

• 80 Cardiothoracic operations
• 40 Gastrointestinal operations
• 25 Breast clinic, endocrine and soft tissue operations
• 20 Neurosurgery procedures
• 10 Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT)

“The largest waiting list is for Orthopaedics, with 833 patients who could wait up to two years for surgery,” said Bloom.

At least 453 children will wait between six months and two years to receive the required medical attention.

There are 200 cataract patients who will wait between 6 and 8 months for surgery, 137 neurosurgery patients will wait for six months, and 109 urology patients will wait between 4 and 6 months.

“I think these figures underestimate the true situation as it does not include the long waiting periods for many patients to be diagnosed by a specialist before they are placed on the waiting lists for surgery,” said Bloom.

Insufficient theatre time and the shortage of ICU beds are the major reasons for the cancellation of operations.

Disruption from Covid-19 and the partial closure of the hospital due to the fire in April last year, are other factors.

“This highlights the need to fully re-open the hospital as soon as possible and to expand the operating theatre and ICU capacity in order to cut the surgery waiting lists drastically.”

Just last month, the fire-ravaged hospital confirmed that another fire had been detected at the hospital parking area, one year after the first devastating blaze in April.

In fact, the repair process from that fire was so dire that hospital management had asked the humanitarian organisation Gift of the Givers for help with repairs in order to speed up the resumption of health services.

Four months after the first fire, the health department said it needed more than R1 billion to fix the fire-ravaged hospital.

NOW READ: Another fire detected at Charlotte Maxeke, one year after first blaze

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