Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital
Patients who urgently need stomach investigations at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital are being told it can’t be done because there is not a single endoscope to do this. All six endoscopes at the department are broken.
An endoscope is a long, thin, flexible tube which has a light and a video camera and is used to examine the inside of a person’s body.
Without endoscopes there are possible cancer cases that won’t be found as they need to be diagnosed by doing a colonoscopy or gastroscopy.
Mr George Joannides (82) was told two weeks ago by a doctor at the Gastroenterology Department that they could not investigate why he had lost weight, was vomiting and experiencing severe reflux because they did not have working equipment.
He and his wife are pensioners and have been forced to sell their house in Randburg in order to pay for expensive private treatment. They now live with his wife’s sister in Gillview in south Johannesburg.
It is really shocking that a major hospital lacks a vital piece of equipment and that patients’ lives are at risk because they cannot do proper stomach examinations.
The Gauteng Health Department should intervene urgently to ensure that endoscopes are bought or repaired so that doctors don’t have to tell patients that vital stomach procedures can’t be done.
(Note: I can supply Mrs Joannides contact details on request concerning her husband’s case)
Jack Bloom MPL
DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health
082 333 4222