Limpopo healthcare workers conduct more than 400 surgical operations in a week

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Limpopo healthcare workers conduct more than 400 surgical operations in a week (iStock)
Limpopo healthcare workers conduct more than 400 surgical operations in a week (iStock)
  • Limpopo has been plagued by a massive backlog in surgical operations.
  • Some patients, with broken bones, were previously sent home. 
  • However, in the past week, healthcare workers have conducted more than 450 surgical operations.

Volunteer medical specialists and other health workers have conducted more than 400 surgical operations in the past week, eradicating a backlog at hospitals in the Waterberg district in Limpopo. 

The surgical operations were part of the provincial health department's rural health matters programme, in which medical specialists are encouraged to volunteer their services.

Limpopo has been plagued by a massive backlog in surgical operations, especially orthopaedic surgeries, with some patients sent home even though they still had broken bones.

One of the recent cases involved a six-year old girl, who is now permanently disabled, after being sent home without surgery from the Polokwane provincial hospital. 

Authorities, at the time, asserted the backlog was caused "by the fact our system was seeing a lot of people with stab wounds and injuries due to motor vehicle accidents after the easing of strict lockdown laws".

ALSO READ | Hundreds of surgeries cancelled at Gauteng hospitals due to lack of clean linen

Health MEC Phophi Ramathuba said: 

The (medical specialists) team had set a target of 400 cases to be operated, of which they surpassed the mark and were able to perform 452 surgical procedures a week.

"The department calls upon all medical specialists to join this noble cause of rural health matters in our next scheduled destination to change the lives of our people."

She encouraged the public to be vaccinated against Covid-19, to ensure the programme was not halted again due to people being hospitalised. 

The operations were conducted at six hospitals in the Waterberg district in the past week and involved, among others, orthopaedic, cataract removal, urology and general surgery.

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