Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku. File photo: Bhekikhaya Mabaso African News Agency (ANA).

PRETORIA - Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku on Wednesday said measures were being implemented to curtail the cancellation of critical theatre procedures at the province’s two major central hospitals, Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital (CMAH) and Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital (CHBAH).

Masuku’s spokesperson Kwara Kekana said in 2018 Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital admitted 43 529 patients, whilst Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital admitted 104 495 patients.

“Due to various reasons, such as a high number of acute and Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds, patient-related issues, infrastructure and equipment related issues; both hospitals had to cancel or defer planned theatre procedures. For 2018 the CMAH cancelled 2036 whereas the CHBAH deferred 1979 procedures. These procedures are then rescheduled at the earliest suitable time taking into consideration factors that led to deferment,” said Kekana.

“Evaluation of patients for major elective surgical procedures at [the] pre-anesthetic clinic before booking is made. Patients scheduled for elective surgical procedures to be in hospital on time, 7pm, to ensure uninterrupted supply of consumables for elective surgical procedures and cutting time for elective surgical procedures across to be at 8pm.”

She said other measures being put in place to ensure that fewer procedures are cancelled or deferred include strengthening the cluster system and outreach, performing some of the operations in the cluster hospitals, and extending arthroplasty list to 7pm during the week.

For 2018 the Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital cancelled 2,036 whereas the Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital deferred 1,979 procedures.

“These procedures are then rescheduled at the earliest suitable time taking into consideration factors that led to deferment. It should be noted that facilities have put systems in place to improve patient outcomes including active participation of patients in the scheduling of operations by introducing electronic communication system for booking, reminder and cancellation,” said Kekana. 

In September, DA Gauteng health spokesperson Jack Bloom said all non-emergency surgery had been cancelled at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital because of a shortage of basic medical supplies.

"More than 20 patients were told that their operations could not go ahead as scheduled. There has been a problem for some weeks with procurement at this hospital," said Bloom at the time.

African News Agency (ANA)