NEWS & ANALYSIS

1 413 ops deferred at Joburg Hospital due to Covid-19 – Jack Bloom

DA MPL says cancellation of procedures causes anxiety and suffering to patients

1413 ops deferred at Joburg Hospital because of Covid-19 restrictions

20 May 2020

A total of 1413 non-urgent operations have been cancelled or deferred at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital since the lockdown restrictions were instituted on 27 March.

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.

The number of cancelled or deferred operations in the various departments are as follows:

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

According to Masuku: “CMJAH remains one of the busiest COVlD-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.”

It is of great concern that so many operations have 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 1850 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.

It is important that every effort is made to alleviate other pressing health needs even as we fight the COVID-19 scourge.

Issued by Jack Bloom, DA Gauteng Shadow Health MEC, 20 May 2020