"The current situation at Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital with regards to anaesthetists is not as suggested [by the Democratic Alliance]," spokesperson Simon Zwane said in a statement.
He was responding to a statement by the DA which said 12 anaesthetists at the hospital had resigned because of bad management and pay cuts due to overtime changes.
"Many operations will be delayed, with patients waiting many more months for operations," DA's Jack Bloom said.
"It's a great pity that hospital management has mishandled the overtime issue that has led to the resignations of nearly half the anaesthetics department."
He said other doctors were also expected to leave and this would cripple the hospital.
"The Gauteng health department needs to intervene urgently, otherwise this hospital will slide further into crisis."
Zwane disputed the DA's claims.
"The hospital has 21 filled posts, three have already left, six will leave at the end of May; there are 39 registrars with about half of these already senior registrars [who work as consultants] and there are six medical officers."
He said 19 theatres operated on a daily basis.
"It is on this basis that the department has consistently denied a crisis. The hospital will also be recruiting to fill the vacant posts."
Insufficient operating time
Zwane said if it was possible to shorten the waiting times for operations the department would do it, but this was not realistic.
"It must be understood that while any health system wants to get patients through the system as soon as possible, it is not always possible."
He said insufficient operating time, limited available specialist surgeons, nursing staff, and theatre auxiliaries resulted in backlogs for surgery.
Operations were given priority, with those of high-risk patients topping the list.
Given the high incidences of trauma and high-risk pregnancies, operating theatres were usually kept busy with those cases, Zwane said. – Sapa
Have something to say? Tweet or Facebook us on @Bhekisisa_MG
Blame game gets Gauteng nowhere
Jo'burg hospitals ban evening visits
Unique Charlotte Maxeke hospital ward faces closure
Gauteng grapples with hospitals and 'haircuts'
Finding gender-affirming care can be tough but there are some tips and resources to help.
Climate change and air pollution could be conspiring against the continent, and fuelling new levels of death and disease.
A new kidney disease is striking down labourers in what could be one of the first epidemics caused by global warming.
Bhekisisa means "to scrutinise" in Zulu
In South Africa, Zulu patients who would like to be thoroughly assessed by a doctor, would ask the physician to "bhekisisa" them.