Scientific letters

Pleuro-pulmonary disease in central South Africa: A thoracic surgical deficiency

A Linegar, G van Zyl, F Smit, P Goldstraw


We wished to estimate the performance gap between thoracic surgical service provision and the burden of thoracic surgical disease in central South Africa (SA). We compared burden of disease data to the number of thoracic operations performed for inflammatory pleuro-pulmonary disease and primary lung cancer. The performance gap was estimated to be a factor of 1:20 for lung cancer and 1:10 for thoracic surgery as a whole. The extent of under-provision of thoracic surgical services in central SA demonstrates that urgent major healthcare system reforms are required at all levels to address the significant performance gap between service provision by thoracic surgery and the burden of disease in central SA.

Authors' affiliations

A Linegar, University Free State

G van Zyl, University Free State

F Smit, University Free State

P Goldstraw, Imperial College Longon, UK

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burden of disease; thoracic surgery; Central South africa;

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2010;100(8):510-512.

Article History

Date submitted: 2009-12-08
Date published: 2010-07-26

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