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Surgical backlog at Charlotte Maxeke

Charlotte Maxeke hospital needs serious intervention as more specialists plan to resign.

Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital sign. Picture: Michelle Lubbe/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - With more specialists expected to resign at Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital over the next few weeks, there are concerns that the large surgical backlog will continue to build up.

Eyewitness News on Monday revealed that 12 anaesthetists resigned allegedly because of an ongoing battle for overtime payment and mistreatment from management.

As a result almost half of the anaesthesiology department will no longer be working there by the end of May.

This leads to questions of how the hospital will perform vital surgeries with such a limited staff.

Sources have told Eyewitness News these resignations will not be the last as the hospital refuses to pay its specialists for their commuted overtime.

Doctors said managers have been verbally abusive to those trying to secure overtime pay and that meetings to try and resolve the issue have hit a dead end.

Meanwhile, the Gauteng Health Department said it was running an aggressive recruitment campaign so that its services were not disrupted.

But the DA's Jack Bloom said it may prove difficult to find new doctors to replace those planning to leave.

"It is widespread unhappiness amongst senior specialists. We are going to lose a lot more over the coming months and they are not actually easily replaceable."

He warned that the obstetric department could also see a mass exodus and other hospitals might also see similar trends of staff leaving to work elsewhere.