Patients are suffering at the Thelle Mogoerane Hospital in Vosloorus as there is no plaster of Paris to set broken limbs and bone fractures.
It is unbelievable that this hospital has had a shortage of this basic medical commodity since April this year.
Plaster of Paris is used to protect and immobilise broken bones, but doctors at the Orthopaedic Department are only able to use bandages which provide no support.
This causes extra pain and increases the risk of complications.
A simple ankle fracture can be treated with plaster of Paris that costs R100, but surgery that costs about R10 000 is often the only alternative when there is no plaster.
The hospital’s Orthopaedic Department sees about 100 patients a day, most of whom would usually require plaster of Paris to assist their healing.
Cardboard has sometimes been used to stabilise a broken limb! See photo here
It is unclear why the hospital is unable to procure plaster of Paris which is a common product with alternative suppliers.
It’s another example of incompetence like the shortage of bread at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital earlier this year.
I have alerted the Head of the Gauteng Health Department to this issue, but I am sure that donations of plaster of Paris would be most appreciated by the Orthopaedic Department.
Anyone who is prepared to speedily assist with a bulk supply of plaster of Paris can contact me at Tel: 082 333 4222.