Patients in Gauteng state hospitals wait longer for scans due to shortage of MRI machines

Patients in Gauteng state hospitals wait longer for scans due to shortage of MRI machines.
Patients in Gauteng state hospitals wait longer for scans due to shortage of MRI machines.
Image: 123RF/ Nophamon Yanyapong

Gauteng hospitals have a huge problem of broken Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machines which often leads to hundred of patients waiting for longer periods of months.

This was revealed by Gauteng health MEC Bandile Masuku who was responding to DA questions in the Gauteng legislature.

According to Masuku, the worst situation is at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic hospital where 607 patients are waiting nine months for a MRI scan.

“The Chris Hani Baragwanath and George Mukhari hospitals each have two MRI machines, but can only rely on one machine as the other ones are broken. The MRI machine at the Helen Jospeh hospital has been broken since March this year and at Steve Biko, the machine broke down a month ago,” Masuku said.

DA Gauteng shadow health MEC, Jack Bloom said MRI scans are a key diagnostic tool in modern medicine.

“Broken machines are causing extra suffering and life-threatening delays, especially for cancer patients. Speedy repairs and purchase of new equipment is vital for the effective functioning of our hospitals. Frequently broken machines are another area of weakness that raises questions about government’s ability to implement its ambitious NHI plans,” Bloom said.

The health MEC revealed scan waiting times at various hospitals‚ including:

- Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg — 761 patients waiting for seven months- George Mukhari — 298 adult patients and 120 children waiting for two to three months- Helen Joseph – the current waiting time was not given for 120 patients- Kalafong Hospital – 40 to 50 patients wait between five days and two weeks; and- Steve Biko — 200 patients wait from two to four months. - Additional reporting TimesLIVE.

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