No blood transfusions have been linked to HIV infections since more sophisticated testing started more than two years ago, says the South African National Blood Service.
A new method of treatment for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) has been developed, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) said on Tuesday.
Private hospitals will overcharge medical aid schemes - and their members - by at least R2-billion this year. Dr Rajesh Patel told the Board of Healthcare Funders conference in Sun City , North West , on Tuesday that although schemes normally paid the acquisition cost of devices and materials, hospitals were getting vendors to inflate invoices.
Hundreds of state patients are having to wait months for life-saving operations because only four of Johannesburg Hospital's operating theatres are in use.
Dr Bob Banieghbal at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto and Professor Benno Ure at his offices in Hannover, Germany, made use of the latest advancement in surgery - the telementoring system Socrates - to perform the laparoscopic surgery on a two-year-old child on Tuesday. While the operation itself is not unique, the technology used by Banieghbal has once again put South Africa on the medical map. According to Socrates suppliers, it was only the second time that two surgeons from different parts of the globe had used the technology to perform an operation together. Ure, sitting in his office in Germany, was able to advise Banieghbal on the best possible procedure, including where to cut, what to pull and where to stitch. Socrates allows surgeons to participate virtually in procedures taking place in distant operating rooms. How it works: Socrates links surgeons in the operating room with colleagues anywhere in the world. A voice-controlled robotic arm (Aesop) positions and holds an endoscope (a minute camera used to view internal organs) which is inserted into the patient via the navel.Two further incisions are made (the positioning depends on the type of surgery) in which miniature medical instruments are inserted. The surgeon physically present has control over the instruments while both surgeons have control over Aesop, to enable them to have the best possible view of the area being operated on. The surgeons are in contact with each other via TV screens and ISDN telephone lines. The virtual surgeon has a monitor that shows him exactly what is being done, as well as a computer mouse with which he can indicate to the surgeon exactly where to cut or suture. Markings made by the virtual surgeon can be seen on a monitor. Socrates makes it possible for specially trained surgeons to become interactively present wherever needed. Added to this, physicians in rural and remote areas can consult with specialists in emergency situations. The equipment is on short loan to Bara, but Banieghbal is working on ensuring that the hospital keeps it for at least a year. The equipment could cost anything from R600 000 to R1,2-million, he added.
South Africa's seven independent blood transfusion services have agreed to a proposal that it would be in the best interests of the country to operate as a single National Blood Transfusion Service. The integration of the new service will be effective from this month, and fall under the banner of the South African National Blood Service. This month is National Blood Donor Month, with the theme Safe blood starts with me. The campaign will focus on ensuring the safety of South Africa's blood supply, and be marked by the wearing of blue ribbons. (Source: The Citizen, 4 April 2001)
On Monday, Eastern Cape MEC Dr Bevan Goqwana announced that at least R20-million of the Eastern Cape health department's R100-million top-up funding would go directly to its creditors. Most of the remaining R80-million would be earmarked for core functions, especially in those areas where shortfalls are anticipated. Goqwana, meanwhile, reiterated earlier comments that the department was beset by a plague of corruption. Corruption already uncovered ranged from the misuse of government property to tampering with the department's computer system. The department earlier announced it had recovered an amount of R97 000 from senior officials at Umtata General Hospital in fraudulent salary payments.
The auctioning of various forms of plastic surgery on the Internet has caused a stir in the medical community.