Health department disputes DA claims of crisis at Jo’burg hospital

"The current situation at Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital with regards to anaesthetists is not as suggested [by the Democratic Alliance]," spokesperson Simon Zwane said in a statement.

He was responding to a statement by the DA which said 12 anaesthetists at the hospital had resigned because of bad management and pay cuts due to overtime changes.

"Many operations will be delayed, with patients waiting many more months for operations," DA's Jack Bloom said.

"It's a great pity that hospital management has mishandled the overtime issue that has led to the resignations of nearly half the anaesthetics department."

He said other doctors were also expected to leave and this would cripple the hospital.

Vacant posts
"The Gauteng health department needs to intervene urgently, otherwise this hospital will slide further into crisis."

Zwane disputed the DA's claims.

"The hospital has 21 filled posts, three have already left, six will leave at the end of May; there are 39 registrars with about half of these already senior registrars [who work as consultants] and there are six medical officers."

He said 19 theatres operated on a daily basis.

"It is on this basis that the department has consistently denied a crisis. The hospital will also be recruiting to fill the vacant posts."

Insufficient operating time
Zwane said if it was possible to shorten the waiting times for operations the department would do it, but this was not realistic.

"It must be understood that while any health system wants to get patients through the system as soon as possible, it is not always possible."

He said insufficient operating time, limited available specialist surgeons, nursing staff, and theatre auxiliaries resulted in backlogs for surgery.

Operations were given priority, with those of high-risk patients topping the list.

Given the high incidences of trauma and high-risk pregnancies, operating theatres were usually kept busy with those cases, Zwane said. – Sapa

We make it make sense

If this story helped you navigate your world, subscribe to the M&G today for just R30 for the first three months

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.”

Guest Author

Related stories


Already a subscriber? Sign in here


Latest stories

Shell v Wild Coast: Science, research and erring on the...

Court applicants have argued that the company should be required to conduct an environmental impact assessment, based on the best available science, which has advanced considerably since Shell’s permit to conduct seismic surveys was granted

How spies shape South Africa’s political path

From Mbeki to Zuma to Ramaphosa, the facts and fictions of the intelligence networks have shadowed political players and settled power struggles

I’m just a lawyer going to court, says attorney on...

The Mthatha attorney is angered by a tweet alleging he sways the high court and the Judicial Services Commission

Death of Zimbabwe’s funeral business

Burial societies and companies have collapsed and people can no longer afford decent burials for their family members

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…