2218 ops cancelled at Charlotte Maxeke Hospital

Issued by Jack Bloom MPL – DA Gauteng Shadow Health MEC
29 May 2023 in Press Statements

An astounding 2218 operations have been cancelled or deferred at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital (CMJH) since January last year.

This is revealed by Gauteng Health MEC Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko in a written reply to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature.

A variety of reasons are given for the cancellations, including the following:

• No ICU/High care beds

• Low Medical Air Pressure

• Equipment and consumables

• Human Resources

• Deferred for Emergency

• Industrial Action

• Load-shedding

• Lack of funds

There are also patient-related factors, like the patient’s condition, the patient did not fast, invalid consent form, refused treatment, did not come, or died before the operation.

The MEC claims that only 1.3% of the cancellations could have been avoided by better management but I doubt it is so low. I get many complaints about surgery cancelled because there are no ICU beds, equipment isn’t working, or there is no clean linen.

Patients are hugely distressed when operations are cancelled for avoidable reasons. It adds to the more than 2500 patients on surgery lists at CMJH, some of whom have been waiting for years.

Imagine suffering with a hip problem for two years but your operation is cancelled at the last moment.

According to Nkomo-Ralehoko, remedial measures include extra training, decentralisation, and strengthening of Supply Chain Management to ensure dependable clinical support.

I am disappointed that more ICU beds are not planned as this is a major cause of long waiting lists for the more complicated operations.

More needs to be done to ensure that surgery at this hospital runs smoothly with minimal disruptions.