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New service reduces surgery waitlist as 10,000 still on hold

A shortage of surgeons and medical machines is causing over 10,000 patients to be on waiting lists for surgery at public hospitals.
Due to a shortage of surgeons and medical machines more than 10,000 patients  are on waiting lists  in Tikur Anbessa ,  St.Paul, and Zewditu hospitals and    the eight additional government hospitals in Addis Ababa.
Most of the patients are from rural areas of Ethiopia and have been waiting for operations between six months and three years. These include: heart, eye, bone, brain and other internal organ operations.   According to the Ministry of Health there were 12,000 on the wait list two months ago but that number has gone down to 10,000 thanks to the help of St. Peter and Ammanuel Hospitals’, new services. Yordanos Alebachew, Public Relations Officer at the Ministry of Health told Capital that 1,600 people will get the new service (new operation) in the next two months.
“We are doing our best to get people  operations when they need them, we hope thousands more will be operated on soon.’’
There is no research on how many people died while waiting for operations.
Ashanafi Ambire, Public Relations officer for St. Peter Specialized Hospital told Capital that the new service will play an important role in reducing pain and fatalities for patients waiting for an operation.
“It is sad to see people die when they are waiting for surgery. We are specialized in TB cases but to help alleviate the burden of other hospitals we have performed 190 operations.’’
Until recently, Ethiopia had just one physician for every 100,000 people, but now the country is increasing the number of doctors.
In the past few years, the government opened 13 new medical schools, which more than doubled the number of medical institutions in the country. Ethiopia has also been increasing enrollment at existing schools.
Currently, Addis Ababa has 12 state run and more than 40 private hospitals. Many of the later were built in the past 21 years. In sharp contrast however, all of the state run hospitals were built more than 30 years ago. For a city of an estimated over five million, state run hospitals are the best medical care alternative centers used mostly by the middle-to-low income inhabitants of the country. However, Black Lion hospital is the largest referral hospital in the country where even the sick wealthy are referred to before flying out of the country.
Ethiopia is one of the countries in the world with low health workforce density of 0.7/1000.


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