Democratic Alliance (DA) Gauteng shadow health MEC Jack Bloom expressed his concerns that a total of 1,413 non-urgent operations have been cancelled or deferred at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital since the start of the lockdown on 27 March.
Bloom said in a statement on Wednesday: “This was revealed yesterday by Gauteng health MEC Bandile Masuku in an oral reply to my questions at a virtual sitting of the Gauteng provincial legislature.”
He said these are the cancelled or deferred operations in the various departments at the hospital.
- Opthalmology (mostly cataract surgery) – 499
- Gastrointestinal Endoscopy – 420
- Orthopaedics – 180
- Paediatric – 47
- Urology – 32
- Breast – 30
- Neurosurgery – 22
- Surgical gastroenterology – 22
- Thyroid – 9 (5 cancers)
- Other – 18
Masuku said: “Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital remains one of the busiest Covid-19 treating facilities in the province… Alternative arrangements have been made for less complex cases to be performed at Helen Joseph Hospital and other regional hospitals.
“There is, unfortunately, limited capacity for patients who would require post-operative ICU and high care.”
Bloom said it was quite worrying that so many operations had been cancelled: “As this causes anxiety and suffering to patients, many of whom have been waiting a long time for surgery. It will add to the existing surgery waiting list of 1,850 patients at this hospital.
“I am relieved that cancer surgery is largely continuing at the hospital, except for a small number of cases due to reduced theatre lists.”
The shadow minister said it was important that every effort was made to alleviate other pressing health needs even as the fight continues against the Covid-19 scourge.
(Compiled by Sandisiwe Mbhele)