Chris Hani Baragwanath resumes elective surgeries

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A general view of Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto, Johannesburg. (Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images)
A general view of Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto, Johannesburg. (Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images)
  • Elective surgeries have resumed at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital in Soweto.
  • They were put on hold during the Covid-19 lockdown to spare hospital beds in case of an insurmountable number of cases.
  • As one of the biggest hospitals in the world, it has already done 517 surgeries in the past two weeks amid the move to Level 1 of the lockdown.

Elective surgeries have resumed at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital in Soweto after they were put on hold in case extra beds were needed to treat people gravely ill with Covid-19. 

Depending on the trajectory of the Covid-19 pandemic, surgeries will be gradually increased at that hospital and the nearby Bheki Mlangeni Hospital.

In the past two weeks, 517 surgeries relating to urological, cataract and gynaecological treatments have already been done. 

Gauteng's acting health MEC, Jacob Mamabolo, welcomed the move, saying this was in accord with the country moving to Level 1 of the lockdown with greater freedoms of movement and activity, from midnight on Sunday. 

READ | Non-urgent surgeries shut down at state, private hospitals, for now

The provincial health department cancelled elective surgeries in March, around the time President Cyril Ramaphosa declared a national state of disaster in the country to manage Covid-19. 

The country went into a hard lockdown to contain the spread of the virus and to get facilities ready to treat those who contracted it.

A total of 7 541 cases were deferred as a result.

Of those, 1 200 were paediatric procedures.

The teaching hospital is one of the busiest in the world and its decision is in line with that of other provinces as well as private facilities. 

"Given the alert level that we are moving into, it becomes important that across our facilities we gradually resume those services that were negatively impacted at the height of the coronavirus pandemic," Mamabolo said.

"Other facilities will also be catching up on elective surgeries." 

He is standing in for Health MEC Bandile Masuku who had to step aside while an investigation into the procurement of personal protective equipment hastily ordered countrywide is conducted. 

The R125 million tender was awarded to the Madzikane II Thandisizwe Diko who is married to Ramaphosa's spokesperson, Khusela Diko. 

Diko is on a leave of absence while the case is being investigated.

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