Non-emergency surgeries delayed by supply shortages at Charlotte Maxeke hospital
Johannesburg’s Charlotte Maxeke hospital had to reschedule non-emergency surgeries last week because of a shortage of medical supplies.
DA Gauteng MPL Jack Bloom said more than 20 patients were told their operations could not go ahead as scheduled last Thursday.
“The shortages of essential medical equipment for surgery included suction catheters, oropharyngeal airways, laryngeal masks, arterial line transducer, suture dressings and the correct size gloves,” Bloom said in a statement on Monday.
He alleged that medical staff at Charlotte Maxeke "often have to borrow equipment from other hospitals".
Bloom said some elective surgery procedures went ahead on Friday after supplies were sourced from Helen Joseph hospital.
“It is shameful that doctors at a major hospital cannot do their jobs because basic medical supplies are short, with patients suffering as a result.
“Government plans for a grandiose National Health Insurance (NHI) will go nowhere if simple things cannot be fixed in our public hospitals,” Bloom said.
Gauteng health department spokesperson Kwara Kekana on Monday acknowledged there had been a shortage of “consumables” at the hospital.
“On Thursday, eight patients who were scheduled for athroplasty were rescheduled for next Thursday following a shortage of consumables,” Kekana said.
She said the hospital had faced challenges, including the delivery of stock by suppliers and delays in issuing purchase orders.
“The hospital intervened to arrest some of the challenges by borrowing stock from sister facilities and collecting stock from suppliers who had stock but could not make immediate deliveries.
“A review of current quantities of critical stock items being ordered and a framework of orders will be developed from October until March 2020,” said Kekana.
“A review of current quantities of critical items being ordered has started, including new processes to ensure on-time delivery of stock has started. Relevant clinicians were engaged and all have agreed to improve communication and work on implementing framework orders in this financial year to mitigate all risks and continuous improvement,” she said.