The Western Cape Department of Health has announced that it will perform 100 nose, ear, hip replacement and knee surgeries to contribute to the centenary celebrations of former president Nelson Mandela.
Last year, the Department made the contribution of 67 additional cataract surgeries, as well as knee and hip replacement surgeries, for Mandela Day. These were performed without any charge to the patient.
The surgeries will be performed on patients who have been waiting on a waiting list – emergency patients are given preference for surgeries, and this means that wait-list patients spend an extended amount of time on the wait list.
This contribution of 100 surgeries will also serve to reduce the backlog of wait-list surgeries. The operations will be performed at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital (RCWMCH) in Cape Town, and will see medical staff work overtime on Saturdays to reduce the backlog of surgical waiting lists.
“Many of our patients who require general surgery or ear, nose and throat (ENT) surgery have to wait a long time for these procedures as they are often postponed when emergency operations are given priority,” said Dr Anita Parbhoo, manager of medical services at RCWMCH. “By extending the theatre schedule with two extra days, RCWMCH can significantly reduce the backlog for General Paediatric Surgery and ENT surgery.”
The surgeries are sponsored by Sea Harvest, and are called the “Weekend Waiting List”.
“Sea Harvest has generously sponsored this ‘Weekend Waiting List’ initiative at RCWMCH and their support helps us cover the costs of operating the theatre on extra days,” said Louise Driver, CEO of the Children’s Hospital Trust.
Since 2010, Sea harvest has donated R2.42-million to the Children’s Hospital Trust through its ‘Kids for Kids’ initiative – which sees a portion of sales of selected Sea Harvest crumbed fish products donated to the Trust.
This year, R300 000 was donated to the 100 operation initiative.
The first of the targeted surgeries were performed at the RCWMCH on Saturday, 2 June 2018.