SA short of paediatric surgeons

May 26, 2011


The association said there were only 27 registered paediatric surgeons in the country, but added that some of them had already retired and that two worked only in private practice.

The available surgeons are forced to delay scheduled operations when emergency procedures are prioritised.

The dwindling number of qualified paediatric surgeons is causing massive backlogs.

In the UK, there is a relative “oversupply” of paediatric surgeons and in Europe there is one for every 300000 children. In the US, there is one for every 400000 children, but in South Africa there is just one specialist paediatric surgeon for every two million children.

These include:

* About 10 in Western Cape, who work at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital in Cape Town, and in Stellenbosch;
* Six in Gauteng, who work in pairs at Johannesburg’s Charlotte Maxeke and Chris Hani Baragwanath hospitals, and Pretoria’s Steve Biko Academic Hospital;
* One in the Free State;
* Five in KwaZulu-Natal; and
* Three in the Eastern Cape.

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