More than 10,000 operations couldn't be done at Groote Schuur due to COVID

The hospital, like many others, has had to delay most medical procedures to care for coronavirus patients.

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CAPE TOWN - Groote Schuur Hospital couldn't carry out over 10,000 operations over the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The hospital, like many others, has had to delay most medical procedures to care for coronavirus patients.

Resources had to be redirected to deal with COVID-19 cases.

Humanitarian aid group, Gift of the Givers, has donated R5 million to the health facility to cut the backlog in medical procedures.

Head of general surgery, Professor Lydia Cairncross: "We're talking about patients with chronic back and joint pain who were waiting for joint replacements, we're talking about patients who are slowly going blind as they wait for cataract surgery, which is a simple and effective curative procedure."

CEO Doctor Bhavna Patel said that in the year prior to when COVID-19 first emerged here, the hospital performed about 19,000 surgical procedures.

"We're looking now at recovering because the COVID waves came at us so quickly there wasn't sufficient time in between the waves for us to make any meaningful impact on recovery. As we're looking at recovery now, I think that we are extremely grateful and honoured to be able to partner with Dr Sooliman and Gift of the Givers," Patel said.