Boost for catch-up surgeries at Groote Schuur

At the launch of the catch-up surgery facility, from left, are Groote Schuur Hospital Trust executive director Kristy Evans; Gift of the Givers member Naeem Kathrada; the provincial health department’s deputy director: chief of operations, Dr Saadiq Kariem; Groote Schuur’s head of surgery, Professor Lydia Cairncross; Groote Schuur’s chief operating officer, Dr Bernadette Eick; and Groote Schuur Hospital Trust member Dr Michael Mol.

Groote Schuur Hospital has opened its new facility to catch up with thousands of surgeries it put on hold during the Covid-19 pandemic.

It consists of two operating rooms, a recovery room and a 16-bed pre- and post-op unit, according to Dr Shrikant Peters, the hospital’s medical manager of the main theatre, anaesthetics and critical care.

The hospital launched its surgical recovery project at the beginning of the year to tackle a backlog of some 6000 surgeries (“NGO helps Groote Schuur catch up with surgeries,” Southern Suburbs Tatler, January 27).

Its fund-raising arm, the Groote Schuur Hospital Trust, set out to raise R15 million for the 1500 to 2000 operations the hospital hopes to do in the first year of the project.

“The newly renovated area is a pleasure to work in and is dedicated to high volume, efficient turnover of cases, to maximise the utility of the area,” said Dr Peters.

Kathryn Schoeman, 71, from Panorama, had cataract surgery at the beginning of May in the main hospital, before the new facility opened.

“I had a problem for many years,” she said. “I went for an operation in 2018 but needed to undergo another operation though because of Covid-19, the hospital could not do it.”

Waiting for her operation had been hard, she said, as she had had to endure blurred vision, but she felt blessed now that she had had the procedure. “I can see clearly, and now when I go shopping, I can read the labels well, and I can enjoy the pleasure of reading again.”

A R5 million donation from Gift of the Givers and R1 million from Hike2Heal are among the support received for the catch-up surgeries.

The Groote Schuur Hospital Trust says it needs to raise a further R2.7million to reach its R15 million goal.

Visit or call the trust’s director, Kristy Evans, at 073 406 7920 if you want to help.

This 16-bed unit is part of Groote Schuur Hospital’s new facility to catch up with surgeries that were put on hold during the pandemic.
Kathryn Schoeman was one of the first patients to have surgery as part of the hospital’s surgical recovery project.