I am shocked at the reported case of a man who was informed that he would have to wait 7 years for a hip operation at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital.
Mr Aubrey Moerane (53) was informed in a letter from Dr Frey, Head of Arthroplasty, that there is a joint replacement waiting list of 1200 people, and that he could only be treated in November 2021.
This is utterly unacceptable. The usual waiting period at other hospitals is up to three years, which is also bad, but not as ridiculous as asking a patient to endure pain for 7 years.
I am also disturbed that Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu did not disclose this long waiting time for hip operations in a written reply last year to my questions on surgery at the hospital. According to the reply, there were only 220 Orthopaedic patients who waited 10 months for surgery. Why was the true situation withheld from me?
According to Mahlangu, 3176 patients at Bara Hospital wait for operations, of which 2548 are for cataracts.
More than 300 operations were deferred last year at Bara mostly due to a lack of Intensive Care Unit beds, and limited theatre and surgeon time.
Special measures are needed to cut down the huge backlog. Operating hours should be extended, including weekends, and the private health sector should be contracted in as well.
Better maintenance of equipment would also help prevent frequent cancellation of surgery due to equipment breakdowns.
Jack Bloom MPL
DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health
082 333 4222