Linen shortage leads to cancellation of operations at Helen Joseph hospital

By Drum Digital
28 July 2015

Broken boiler is the cause of the erratic supply of linen which leads to cancellation and postponement of surgeries.

A linen shortage has led to surgeries being cancelled while some postponed at Helen Joseph Hospital in west Johannesburg.

Sowetan Live reported on Tuesday that the hospital has been “plagued by a shortage of clean linen this entire month”‚ according to a statement by Democratic Alliance provincial health spokesperson Jack Bloom.

Ten surgery cases had to be cancelled on Monday‚ while July 23 saw 25 operations being postponed‚ 20 on July 16 and an unspecified number on July 14 and 7‚ Bloom said, the report continued.

These disruptions‚ Bloom said‚ had theatre staff “at their wits’ end” as it “is very distressing to tell patients that operations have to be deferred‚ especially with long waiting lists‚ which can be as long as three years for a hip operation”.

“The linen problem is caused by erratic supply from the laundry at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital which is unreliable because of a broken boiler‚” said Bloom.

“Hospital management should be allowed to use private laundries which are cheaper and more efficient than dysfunctional state laundries.”

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