JOHANNESBURG, Sept. 30 (Xinhua) -- South Africa has 170,000 to 180,000 backlogs in surgeries mainly due to the COVID-19 and load shedding, some patients have to wait up to seven years for orthopaedic surgery, said Minister of Health Joe Phaahla on Friday.
Phaahla made the remarks while briefing the media ont the impact of load shedding to the health sector.
"We do not know how many of these surgeries could be attributed to load shedding," said Phaahla. The COVID-19 forced the country to suspend some medical surgeries.
On Thursday, Phaahla briefed the parliamentary portfolio committee on health about the delayed surgeries, COVID-19, vaccines and update on the health regulations and monkeypox.
The parliamentary portfolio committee on health Kenneth Jacobs urged the department of health to urgently devise strategies to address the surgery backlogs.
"Committee members said they found it disturbing and embarrassing that patients have to wait up to seven years for orthopaedic surgery and two years for oncology related surgery. The committee said it is unacceptable for cancer patients to wait that long, as this amounts to a death sentence for patients," he said.
Phaahla said they are working to clear the backlog. ■