Generous doctors spend weekend in surgery marathon
A team of seven doctors performed operations on 63 patients as part of an outreach programme at Komani's Frontier Hospital at the weekend.
Hospital CEO Sindiswa Tywabi said the initiative was intended to fast-track surgical procedures at the public hospital.
The backlog was so bad that the earliest some patients could be attended to was 2021, she explained.
Gallstone and other operations, thanks to the intervention, could now be fast-tracked and further complications prevented.
The surgeons and anaesthetists rolled up their sleeves and began work at 6am on Saturday, attending to patients who had arrived at the hospital on Thursday.
Tywabi said the hospital was in need of specialists, so the intervention was welcomed.
“Patients in both the private and public sectors have to wait for operations and that doesn't go down well with health professionals. It means that patients are staying at home with ailments that can be removed or dealt with in a short space of time.
“When we looked at the long waiting time for the operations, we decided to get extra hands to assist us,” she said.
Komani general practitioner Dr Mawabo Ntshulana, who leads a non-profit organisation called the Ingqanga Group, put out calls to specialists from around the country to assist.
Tywabi said his efforts had been instrumental in the success of the programme to date.
“I am over the moon with the dedication and discipline these professionals have displayed,” she said.
“We are doing exactly what the National Health Insurance (NHI) seeks to achieve; we are giving universal access to quality health care for patients who don't have medical aid.
“This collaborative process is the type of effort we need to effectively make a change in the province's health sector.”
Provincial health spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo said the department was grateful for the services delivered by the specialists.
"“Due to the number of trauma cases we experience in the province, sometimes it becomes a challenge to deal with all the cases, particularly those that require surgery,” he said.
“So this intervention has really helped to alleviate the pressure. Generally, surgery is a scarce skill so we really appreciate the assistance.
“This also shows that our investments are beginning to assist us.
“We have spent a lot of money taking doctors to training. We also appreciate those who don't work in the province but still find time to assist.”
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