Five and a half years wait for hip and knee surgery at Bara hospital

There is an immensely long surgery waiting list of 7288 patients at the Chris Hani Baragwanath, including 1771 patients who will wait five and a half years for their hip and knee operations.

This information is disclosed by Gauteng Health MEC Nomathemba Mokgethi in a written reply to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature.

According to Mokgethi, the long waiting lists are due to the high number of patients at the hospital and interruptions from the waves of Covid cases.

There are 738 hip patients and 1033 knee patients who will only get surgery by 14 April 2026.

This is an appallingly long time to wait for surgery – imagine being diagnosed and then being told to come back in 2026!

I am also concerned about the 2572 patients waiting for cataract operations, and 1048 children who are waiting for surgery at this hospital.

Unfortunately, I don’t see a concerted plan to drastically cut these backlogs which were long even before the Covid epidemic.

It is unconscionable for so many patients to suffer for so long. It seems that some waiting lists only get shorter because patients die while waiting.

There should be blitzes using operating theatres around the clock, and the department should pay private hospitals to do surgery for public patients.