Gauteng Department of Health reported nearly 2,036 canceled operations in Charlotte Maxeke Hospital in 2018. A total of 1,979 surgeries were postponed at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital last year.
According to Gauteng Health MEC spokesperson Kwara Kekana, operations are canceled or delayed due to various reasons such as an overcrowded high-care unit, patient problems, inadequate infrastructure or a shortage of basic medical supplies. However, they now want to take strict measures to prevent the cancellation of non-emergency operations at the Charlotte Maxeke and Chris Hani Baragwanath hospitals in Johannesburg.
The Department of Health wants to implement systems to improve the outcome of patients’ health and in-hospital experiences. “We intend to implement electronic communication systems for scheduling, reminding and canceling hospital operations to prevent these problems from arising again. We also want to carefully evaluate patients at important clinics before selective surgical procedures, ”says Kekana.
Kekana says other measures will be taken to ensure patients report to hospitals on time before surgery, in order to improve time management.
The health department said on Wednesday they also want to take the necessary measures to prevent infections in hospitals. This comes after the number of newborn deaths at George Mukhari Hospital in Pretoria has increased by almost 100 deaths over the past five years.
As reported earlier, Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku said 302 newborn babies died in George Mukhari Hospital in 2018. The number of preterm infants has also increased significantly, with 44% of the total number of infants admitted to the neonatal high-care unit in 2018.
Jack Bloom, DA spokesperson for health in Gauteng, expressed his concern over the 140 babies who died last year of klebsiella – a type of bacterial infection – which is about three times more than the 48 deaths due to klebsiella in 2013.
“We intend to continuously train staff in hand washing techniques in the next year. We also want to review the hand hygiene policy and strengthen the training policy for staff, ”says Kekana.
According to Kekana, they also want to improve the quality of care in the neonatal high-care unit by monitoring the cleanliness and hygiene on a daily basis. “The feedback from the Department of Microbiology will also be presented weekly at the mortality and morbidity meetings.”