A backlog of more than 1,000 elective surgeries was built up by just six public hospitals in the Western Cape during the first four months of SA’s Covid-19 lockdown, suggesting a potentially devastating national picture of deferred care, according to a study published in the SA Medical Journal.

Both government and private hospitals cut non-emergency services when the national lockdown began on March 27 2020, to prepare for the anticipated surge in Covid-19 admissions. A modelling study that considered the impact of the first 12 weeks of the lockdown estimated the national backlog of surgical procedures could run to 150,000 cases, but to date there has been little primary research on the subject in SA...

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