Thelle Mogoerane Hospital in Vosloorus. File picture: Bhekikhaya Mabaso/Africa News Agency/(ANA)

Ekurhuleni - Operations have been cancelled at Thelle Mogoerane regional hospital in Vosloorus, the DA and hospital confirmed on Thursday. 

Gauteng Democratic Alliance (DA) shadow MEC on Health Jack Bloom said operations have been cancelled at the hospital due to shortage of clean linen.

Bloom said the the supply of clean linen to the hospital has been an issue since the beginning of the year.

“Sterilised gowns and other items are essential to prevent infection during surgery,” he said

According to Bloom, the shortage is caused by problems at the Dunswart laundry

“This laundry is one of five laundries run by the Gauteng Health Department which are notorious for high expense and poor service,” he said

Bloom added that Gauteng hospitals should be allowed to use private laundries for linen, and said speedy action should be taken to ensure that the linen problem is sorted out as soon as possible.

“Meanwhile, patients suffer at Thelle Mogoerane and other hospitals because surgery is cancelled and waiting lists grow longer.,” he said

The hospital’s acting CEO, Dr Michael Malaka said it is true that the hospital cancelled some operations that were scheduled for this week due to a shortage of clean linen.

He explained that the shortage was caused by the breakdown of two laundry machines and a boiler machine at the Dunswart laundry.

We even got a letter that was written to us by the laundry manager informing us about these challenges, and this problem has been going on now for about three weeks,” he said

“But on a daily basis, we do send a van to Dunswart to go and get us clean linen,” he added

Dr Malaka said the hospital has only cancelled elective operations, adding that emergency operation procedures are still taking place at the hospital.

“In addition to that, we also purchased disposable linen that we use in the theatres whenever there is a shortage of linen,” he said

Dr Malaka added that the hospital also borrowed disposable linen from its neighbouring hospitals to ensure that such procedures are not interrupted.

He said they are also considering taking their linen to private laundromats, as the Dunswart laundromat is facing mechanical problems.

“We are busy as the executive at the hospital management of the hospital making arrangements for that to be done. And we hope by late this week or probably early next week we will be able to take some of these linen to a private laundries,” he said.

The Star