Provincial health authorities say they’re committed to further reducing the backlog of surgical operations, caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Western Cape Department of Health outlined its plans at the Tygerberg Hospital, on Monday.

In December 2019, over 105 000 elective surgeries were performed across the province.

A year later, the number had dropped by 22%.

A total of R20 Million has been set aside to help catch-up with the backlog.

The department has conceded that the pandemic had significant impact on elective surgeries.

Chief Operations Officer, Dr Saadiq Kariem, doesn’t want their health services to be further de-escalated.

“We will be covering all the disciplines, making sure we reduce the backlogs. What the surgical teams will be doing is, in fact, going to prioritise people according to the type of surgery that’s required… We will obviously make contact with people, to tell them when to come in and what arrangements to be made.”

He adds that robotic surgeries are also performed at Groote Schuur and Tygerberg hospitals.

“The advantage of these robots is that patients, then, require far less time recuperating… Depending on the procedure, [patients] can be mobile from the very next day already – and discharge two or three days later, rather than spending many days in hospital.”

HeartFM News