The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng said the number of patients who had been waiting for surgery for more than six months at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital was disturbing.
The DA’s member of the Gauteng legislature, Jack Bloom, said 6,083 patients had been waiting for surgery for more than six months at the hospital, while the waiting time for hip and knee operations was five years.
Bloom said these “disturbing figures” were given by Gauteng health MEC Bandile Masuku in an oral reply to his questions in the legislature on Tuesday.
According to Masuku, there are 828 patients on the waiting list for a hip replacement and 1,141 patients are waiting for knee surgery and they would only be able to have their operations in five years’ time. Masuku further revealed that the waiting time for 3,308 patients who required cataract surgery was 12 months.
“Masuku said that long waiting lists are due to the non-availability of theatre time, inefficient use of the theatres, a shortage of staff – particularly scrub and theatre nurses, and high staff absenteeism.
“These long waiting times cause immense distress to suffering people dependent on public health care. Imagine being told that your hip operation is scheduled for August 2024.
“I hope that every effort is made to cut these unacceptably long waiting periods for surgery at our largest hospital.”
(Compiled by Makhosandile Zulu)