2096 patients are waiting for a kidney transplant at the Steve Biko and Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg hospitals, but only 48 kidney transplants have been done in the last three years.
This is revealed by Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu in a written reply to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature.
According to Mahlangu, the problem is the shortage of donors for all the transplant categories.
There are also 179 patients waiting for a cornea transplant at the Steve Biko and Chris Hani Baragwanath hospitals which did 33 such transplants from 2013 to 2015.
The situation is better with liver transplants where there are 11 patients on the waiting list at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital which did 79 liver transplants in the last three years.
No patients wait for stem cell transplants at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital which did 18 such transplants in the last three years.
Mahlangu says that waiting times depend on the availability of matching donors, and public education is being done concerning organ donation.
It is tragic that many patients will die before a suitable transplant is found for them.
Our hospitals do good transplant work, but more effort is needed to get extra donors, especially for kidneys where the need is greatest.
DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health
082 333 4222