Surgery of state patients in private hospitals – a free lunch?
As the saying goes, ‘the best things in life are free’ but this is hardly true for orthopaedic surgery. Theatre nursing scrub staff shortages have led to prolonged turn-around times and resistance to starting cases after 15h00 in our state hospitals. This has negatively impacted productivity with surgical volume reduced by at least 25% on our elective lists this year. With the overwhelming demand due to failing services in some provinces and poor socioeconomic factors forcing more patients from private to state care, our elective waiting lists continue to grow.1