Much of South Africa’s public health sector is plagued by long waiting times for surgery, a situation that was made much worse by the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, an inspiring project at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town has reached its target of slashing its backlog by 1 500 surgeries. Elri Voigt reports.
Head of general surgery at Groote Schuur Hospital, Professor Lydia Cairncross is a sharp thinker and straight talker. Whether it is on issues of equity and social justice or on how to strengthen quality healthcare – Cairncross speaks her mind. Tiyese Jeranji spoke to her as part of Spotlight’s Women in Health series.
Based on figures from the national Department of Health over 107 000 non-emergency or elective surgeries were put on hold during the COVID-19 pandemic. But challenges in addressing surgical backlogs were there before COVID-19. Alicestine October asked some local experts how surgical care can be better coordinated in South Africa.