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Mediclinic News : 'No crisis' at state hospital despite acute oncologist shortage

Title

'No crisis' at state hospital despite acute oncologist shortage

Date

2018-06-08

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News Description

TIMES SELECT Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital is so desperate for radiation oncologists that CEO Gladys Bogoshi even asked journalists if they knew anyone who wanted to work for the government. At a media event yesterday, Bogoshi said two out of five posts for radiation oncologists were vacant at the state hospital but denied there was a crisis. She was responding to reports of long waiting lists for cancer radiation treatment, old machines that break down often, and a shortage of radiation oncology staff. She said the vacancies existed despite the hospital advertising for the positions in international journals and on “social media”. The hospital has more than 3 130 cancer patients and only three full-time radiation oncologists. But Bogoshi said the shortage of specialists was “not a crisis as the three doctors was trying their best” by working until 8pm at night to see all the patients. She said: “Is it a crisis? No. Is it a concern? Yes.” Her comments came as Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi this week said the health system was “distressed”. In April it was reported that there was a long backlog of patients waiting for radiation. Campaigning for Cancer oncologist Devan Moodley said at the time that the likelihood of cancer returning was high if radiation treatment was administered too late. Bogoshi said the waiting list for prostate cancer treatment was 24 months, although more urgent cases are seen more quickly. The waiting period for radiation for breast cancer is between four to six months. A Johannesburg state patient will have to wait up to four months to receive radiation treatment for gynaecological cancers such as cervical cancer. But Bogoshi denied that this was a “backlog”, arguing that patients did get other treatments such as medication, surgery or chemotherapy - or, in case of prostate cancer, hormonal therapy.
Created at 2018/06/14 09:23 AM by Mediclinic
Last modified at 2018/06/14 09:23 AM by Mediclinic