Plans to reduce Charlotte Maxeke operation backlog

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital is referring patients to district hospitals in order to address the backlog of operations and reduce the number of patients on the waiting list.

“Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic hospital (CMJAH) is down-referring less complicated medical cases to district hospitals such as Edenvale, Bertha Gxowa, Tambo Memorial and South Rand hospitals, amongst others, as part of measures to reduce the number of patients on the waiting list to undergo operations,” said the Gauteng Health Department in a statement on Wednesday.

Medical personnel at the district hospitals are assisted by specialists from CMJAH, who use this arrangement to transfer critical surgical skills to the medical officers working in district hospitals.

According to the department, district hospitals have been authorised to perform different operations.

Germiston-based Bertha Gxowa Hospital performs foot and ankle surgery, breast, appendicectomy, haemorrhoidectomy, drainage of minor abscesses and benign gynaecological operations.

Edenvale Hospital has been given the responsibility to perform hernia surgery and closure of colostomy, while hand, colonoscopy and colorectal surgery and wound management is done at Far East Rand Hospital.

The other hospitals will operate surgeries as follows:

  • Leratong Hospital: upper gastro intestinal tract  (GIT), endocrine, sarcoma, trauma and burn care;
  • Pholosong Hospital: hernia and breast;
  • South Rand Hospital: diagnostic GIT endoscopy, hernia, drainage of abscesses, appendicectomy and benign gynaecological operations; and
  • Tambo Memorial Hospital: hepato pancreato biliary (HPB), GIT endoscopy, trauma and acute care surgery.

The provincial department advised members of the public not to self-refer themselves to these facilities should they be diagnosed with any of the illnesses listed above. Instead, they should follow proper referral procedures. 

In addition to the down referral system, there are scheduled arthroplasty catch-up weeks, which will assist in reducing the long waiting lists.

“The reason patients wait long periods to undergo operations is due to various factors such as prioritisation of emergency cases; limited availability of ICU beds; limited theatre capacity and high load of acute trauma cases, amongst others.

“The department will continue to institute and monitor measures that are focused on improving services for the citizens of Gauteng. A province-wide electronic reporting system is being developed to monitor waiting times throughout the health facilities and this will be finalised [within six months],” said the department. -