All non-emergency surgery was cancelled at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital because of a shortage of basic medical supplies, the DA said. File picture: Nokuthula Mbatha

Johannesburg - All non-emergency surgery was cancelled at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital this past week on Thursday because of a shortage of basic medical supplies, the Democratic Alliance said on Sunday.

"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," DA Gauteng shadow health MEC Jack Bloom said on Sunday.

The shortages of essential medical equipment for surgery included suction catheters, oropharyngeal airways, laryngeal masks, arterial line transducer, suture dressings, and the correct size gloves.

Medical staff often had to borrow equipment from other hospitals. Some elective surgery went ahead on Friday because supplies were taken from the Helen Joseph Hospital.

"It is shameful that doctors at a major hospital cannot do their jobs because basic medical supplies are short, with patients suffering as a result. Government plans for a grandiose National Health Insurance (NHI) will go nowhere if simple things cannot be fixed in our public hospitals," Bloom said.

African News Agency (ANA)