“A tale of two cities”: A snapshot survey of neurosurgical procedures performed in public and private sectors in eThekwini
Access to neurosurgical care in South Africa is influenced by prevailing inequities in healthcare. It is generally perceived that the public sector performs mainly emergencies relating to trauma, and the private sector performs mainly elective spinal surgery. In March 2015, emergencies constituted 51% of cases in the public sector compared to 8% in the private sector. Trauma, paediatric hydrocephalus and intracranial sepsis constituted nearly 75% of the operative workload in the public sector. Cranial surgery accounted for the majority (95%) of operations in the public sector, whereas the majority in the private sector was spinal (75%). There is considerable disparity in the type of neurosurgery being performed in the public and private sectors in KwaZulu-Natal and with the current financial constraints, there is a potential unmet need for elective spinal surgery in the public sector.
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