Livingston hospital orthopaedic surgeries come to a halt

Despite being the biggest hospital in the Eastern Cape, and having an orthopaedic wing, orthopaedic surgeries in the Livingston hospital have ground to a halt unless they are emergencies.

Frustrated patients requiring elective joint replacement surgeries and other corrective surgeries are being turned away from the wing, and clinics and hospitals in the area have been advised to stop referring such cases to the hospital.

The only surgeries which will be considered are those as a result of trauma or post-surgery complications. Patients who are living in pain, often immobile and desperate to regain some quality of life are being neglected.

Patients have reported that lifts in the hospital are not working and that porters are taking up to 45 minutes to move patients to and from the theatre wing as a result. Many porters do not report for work and doctors are moving the patients themselves and despite heavy workloads, are themselves standing waiting for lifts for hours on end.

Image intensifiers – which are used during operations – are not all working, resulting in theatre down times, while doctors fight for the resources to continue surgeries. This results in schedules not being met, and surgeries being delayed.

The DA is appalled that people are being forced to suffer because of mismanagement of the hospital and a lack of resources. It is unacceptable.

Minister Phaala and the Eastern Cape MEC for Health must account for the continued collapse of the hospital and the province’s health facilities in general. We are calling on the Minister to do an oversight with the National Portfolio Committee of Health to witness the poor state of the hospital and to urgently intervene.