Bara CEO Explains Why They’ve Cancelled Or Postponed 870 Operations This Year… The head of Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital in Soweto on Monday said mostly matters beyond her staff’s control had led to the postponement or cancellation of more than 870 operations this year.
“We have 43 theatres and our patient load is quite heavy. We strive to prioritise emergency surgical procedures,” said CEO Dr Nkele Lesia.
“We don’t cancel any emergency cases and the reasons for cancellation are many — some of them are patient-related, which we are not in control of. For example, if the person is not fit for a surgery.”
While the 870 cancelled or postponed operations seemed high, Lesia said the hospital had conducted 24,000 procedures within the same time frame.
Some operations were deferred because of time — doctors could only perform a limited number of operations a day.
“However, what is avoidable is the issue of this infrastructure challenge. For example, there was no clean linen at the hospital,” said Lesia.
“The reason was that the boilers were not functioning and at the same time the laundry equipment was not functioning.”
Infrastructure needed to be maintained to support theatre services.
Lesia was speaking during a visit to the hospital by the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC).
The commission conducted an oversight visit of the hospital after reports that the cancelled procedures were due to overbooking, equipment problems, maintenance issues and the the shortage of linen.
The SAHRC’s head in Gauteng, Buang Jones, said the commission planned to meet the heads of the departments of health, treasury and infrastructure development on July 13 to discuss challenges in the provincial healthcare sector.
“The purpose of our visit today [Monday] was to examine factors such as infrastructure, the quality of healthcare services, equipment and human resources.”
Jones said they had received verbal responses from the hospital delegation they met.
“We will await formal reports within a week. The commission intends to convene a meeting with the heads of departments to see how we can attend to these challenges and resolve them in a manner that upholds, respects and promotes the right of access to healthcare services.”