800 Patients Wait For Orthopaedic Ops In Gauteng

Orthopaedic Operations

800 patients are currently on the waiting list for orthopaedic operations in Gauteng hospitals, and some of them will wait up to three years for hip replacement surgery.

This was disclosed yesterday by Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu in an oral reply to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature.

According to Mahlangu, emergency orthopaedic cases are done daily, and take no longer than 14 days.

She said that people lost mobility when operations were delayed and the Department had apologized for this.

Private Health Sector

I welcome her announcement that the Department is finalizing a plan to wipe out the surgery backlog. This will require extra theatre time, availability of intensive care beds and collaboration with the private health sector.

Earlier this year, we were shocked by the case of Mr Aubrey Moerane who was told by the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital that he would have to wait 7 years for a hip operation.

I look forward to the new measures which hopefully alleviate the suffering of many patients who need hip, knee or spinal surgery, some of whom are currently in wheelchairs.


Media enquiries:

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health

082 333 4222

[Image source]

64 Essential Medicines Short at Gauteng Hospitals

A total of 64 essential medicines are unavailable or in short supply at Gauteng public hospitals, causing severe problems for patients who need them.

This is revealed by Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu in a written reply to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature.

According to Mahlangu, 86% of Vital medicines and 76% of Essential medicines are available.

Varying Shortages

Medicine shortages vary at different hospitals, depending on the level of care that is given.

Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital is the worst affected, with 51 drugs out of stock, followed by Leratong Hospital (50 items) and Kalafong Hospital which is short of 49 medicines.

The shortages at other major hospitals are as follows:

  • Helen Joseph Hospital –                 46
  • Steve Biko Academic –                  45
  • Edenvale Hospital –                       39
  • Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg –   37
  • South Rand Hospital –                   28

Out of stock medicines include:

  • Paracetomol tablets 500mg
  • Atenolol tablets
  • Amoxycillin acid suspension
  • Pethidine hydrochloride injection
  • Rantidine hydrochloride injection
  • Ibuprufen suspension 100mg
  • Calcium carbonate tablets
  • Zinc sulphate syrup
  • Lactulose syrup
  • Omeprazole capsules

(Full list available on request)

MEC Blames National Tenders

I am aware of cases where patients are given a script and told to buy from a private pharmacy, but many cannot afford to do this.

Mahlangu says that if stocks are low, patients get a one month supply instead of the usual 3 month supply, and that institutions assist each other where medicines are in short supply.

She blames the non-availability of medicines on national tenders and the failure of suppliers to build up the necessary stock levels to meet the province’s needs.

It is scandalous that nearly one in four essential medicines are not available in Gauteng public hospitals and clinics.

This appalling situation has dragged on for far too long and requires effective measures to ensure that medicines are always available.


Media enquiries:

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health

082 333 4222

[Image source]

Disgraceful barring of media from Bara Hospital

I am appalled that members of the media were yesterday barred access to the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital.


According to a report, they were invited to accompany the Public Service Commission on an inspection of the hospital, but the hospital’s CEO Sandile Mfenyane said he was following instructions from the Gauteng Health Department in barring them.


This is utterly disgraceful. We seem to be going backwards in access to hospitals to investigate service delivery problems.


I have previously been banned from Bara Hospital, and last year I was escorted off the premises of Helen Joseph Hospital by security guards because the department said I did not have permission to be there.


According to the Constitution, public representatives have the right to do unannounced inspections, and media also have rights that have now been denied by this hospital.


The Gauteng Health Department should respect the Constitution and allow reasonable access to hospitals to assess conditions.


They are undermining democracy and are no doubt fearful that poor treatment of patients will be exposed, like the photograph of two babies in a cardboard box that a newspaper published some years ago following a visit to Bara Hospital.


Media enquiries:

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health

082 333 4222