Gauteng cancels planned surgeries at its public hospitals to strengthen response to Covid-19

Gauteng cancels planned surgeries at its public hospitals to strengthen response to Covid-19.
Gauteng cancels planned surgeries at its public hospitals to strengthen response to Covid-19.
Image: 123RF/Chanawit Sitthisombat

Gauteng health department has cancelled all elective surgeries planned in advance rather than those done in an emergency.

This  is part of the department's plan  to strengthen Covid-19 response in health facilities.

Provincial health spokesperson Philani Mhlungu said the department has put additional measures in place to deal with the spread of Covid-19 follwoing the declaration of a national state of disaster by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Mhlungu said elective surgery with planned high care should be rescheduled to maintain surgical capacity.

“All annual health events are cancelled, the outpatient departments will reduce the number of patient visits using the appointment system. A separate area for patients with flu-like symptoms at [public] facilities [will be set up],” Mhlungu said.

He added that Thuthuzela health care centres services will be extended beyond providing forensic services.

“Chronic patients will be linked with centralised chronic medical dispensing and distribution and patients to be provided with three months’ supply of medication and repeat script of six months. Patients are also encouraged to use Peleboxes for collection of medication,” Mhlungu said.

Peleboxes are an innovative service allowing chronic patients on repeat medication to collect their medication from an unmanned facility, much in the similar way as withdrawing cash from an ATM. The service was introduced in 2019.

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