The high number of patients awaiting operations at Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital has forced the Gauteng Health Department to move them to other provincial facilities.
Health Department spokesperson Lesemang Matuka said that as a result of the long list of patients waiting to be operated on, they had decided to move them.
He said other factors that contributed to the move included limited availability of ICU beds, limited theatre capacity and the high load of acute trauma cases at the teaching hospital.
Matuka said patients with less complicated medical cases were being referred to district hospitals such as Edenvale, Bertha Gxowa, Tambo Memorial and South Rand as part of reducing the number of patients who needed operations.
“The medical personnel at the district hospitals are assisted by specialists from Charlotte Maxeke, which also utilises this arrangement to transfer critical surgical skills to the medical officers working in district hospitals,” Matuka said.
In June, it was revealed that the worst backlog at Charlotte Maxeke was in orthopaedics, with over 1000 patients waiting between six and 12 months for a knee or hip operation.
Paediatric surgery had 447 children waiting up to six months for operations. The longest wait was for heart surgery, where 200 patients had a waiting time of up to 18 months for the procedures they required.
Now, Matuka said patients who needed foot and ankle surgery, an appendectomy or haemorrhoidectomy, drainage of minor abscesses and benign gynaecological operations would be referred to Bertha Gxowa Hospital. Those who needed hernia surgery and closure of colostomy would be sent to Edenvale Hospital. Colonoscopies, colorectal surgery and wound management would be done at Far East Rand Hospital.
Other referrals are:
Endocrine, sarcoma, trauma and burn care to Leratong Hospital.
Hernia and breast surgery to Pholosong Hospital.
Hernia, drainage of absces- ses, appendectomy and benign gynaecological operations to South Rand Hospital.
Trauma and acute care surgery to Tambo Memorial Hospital.
Matuka warned patients not to refer themselves to the hospitals.
“Members of the public are advised not to self-refer themselves to these facilities should they be diagnosed with any of the illnesses listed. Instead, they should follow proper referral procedures.”
He promised that the department was committed to improving the provincial healthcare system.