Eyewitness News has reported that there could be a mass
exodus of specialist doctors from the Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital.
This follows on from the resignation of 12 specialists from
the hospital's anaesthetics department recently over what’s believed to be a battle for
overtime payment and alleged mistreatment from management.
Any further resignations will add to the growing concern as
to how the hospital will perform vital surgeries with such limited staff.
However, the Gauteng Health Department has denied there is a crisis at the hospital. 'There will be delays'
current situation at Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital
with regards to anaesthetists is not as suggested [by the Democratic
Alliance]," spokesman Simon Zwane said.
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
"Many operations will be delayed, with patients waiting many more months for operations," DA MPL 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
He said other doctors were also expected to leave and this would cripple the hospital. "The Gauteng health department needs to intervene urgently, otherwise this hospital will slide further into crisis."
'There is no crisis'
Zwane disputed the DA's claims.
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
He said 19 theatres operated on a daily basis.
is on this basis that the department has consistently denied a crisis.
The hospital will also be recruiting to fill the vacant posts."
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."
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.
the high incidences of trauma and high-risk pregnancies, operating
theatres were usually kept busy with those cases, Zwane said.