Despite service delivery pressures, Karl Bremer performs 328 additional surgeries since August
Today, Minister Nomafrench Mbombo had an opportunity to visit Karl Bremer Hospital to view the progress it has made in reducing its surgical backlog, which was exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic. This forms part of our programme to follow the funding which has been provided to our facilities.
While the hospital still faces service delivery pressures, it has been able to perform an extra 328 procedures since August last year. This was due to the additional allocation of R20 million last year to address the surgical backlog caused by the decision to reprioritise healthcare towards responding to the Covid-19 pandemic.
This funding allowed Karl Bremer to create 12-month contracts for 4 nurses, 1 part-time doctor and 1 porter to improve the capacity in service delivery. In doing so, staff stress levels have also reduced with this extra capacity.
To date, Karl Bremer’s theatres have seen a total of 7 047 cases in 2022/23, which is more than 10% from the previous financial year. In addition to this, the hospital is also achieving its targets in the following areas:
Even though these interventions have proven beneficial and have produced welcoming results, the funding for these contracts ends at the end of March 2023. In addition to this, the Department’s Provincial Equitable Share (PES) from the national government is being reduced by R1.5 billion as from April this year. The combination of these factors will increase the pressures felt at Karl Bremer as well as healthcare facilities in the province.
Minister Nomafrench Mbombo says: “As the Minister of Health and Wellness, I call on the national government to reprioritise funding towards the health portfolio to urgently capacitate our service delivery. While healthcare is everyone’s business and requires a whole-of-society approach, our facilities are the first point of entry. Provinces are only able to do so much with the resources that are allocated to them from National Treasury. Going forward, I will be taking up the concerns raised in today’s meeting with my counterparts so that we can address the issues as soon as possible”.
“Notwithstanding the immediate pressures, we are also very grateful to the management for being involved with the hospital’s operations to ensure that patients receive their care. We also welcome the Hospital Board’s hands-on approach with their assistance in implementing projects to improve the patient experience. It is initiatives like these that prove that the Western Cape is the home of quality governance and service delivery.”