This Heritage Day, we celebrate 40 years of uninterrupted success at Mediclinic – our multinational healthcare company with a proudly South African legacy. 

Having grown from a modest 100-bed hospital in the northern suburbs of Cape Town, to an international healthcare group with more than 100 facilities in four countries on three continents, the Mediclinic brand is a people-first company with a strong heritage, known for its high-quality service and care. 

Vision for the future

The healthcare environment is changing rapidly. Accordingly, Mediclinic has been proactive in modernising and transforming its business to meet the evolving needs of patients. “Everything we do is designed to adapt the business rapidly in order to keep up with what our patients need,” says Dr Ronnie van der Merwe, Mediclinic Group CEO. 

Mediclinic is mindful of the fact that the hospital is no longer the centre of the healthcare universe, Dr Van der Merwe adds. “Today, technology allows patients to undergo procedures and treatment in various care settings, such as day clinics, renal clinics, and mental health clinics,” he says. “To position Mediclinic for the future, we are expanding our range of settings. This will allow us to generate additional revenue while enhancing the continuum of care for our patients.” 

Insights from the past

Dr Edwin Hertzog, founder of Mediclinic, provides a historic context for this vision: “Once we had built our first Mediclinic hospital, and bought others, like Mediclinic Sandton and Mediclinic Morningside, the idea of our facilities being the destination for all a patient’s healthcare needs was born. This idea became a reality when Mediclinic established the first emergency units at private hospitals in South Africa.

“At the time, after-hours patients had to phone a GP at home and then dash off to a dark consulting room somewhere in a shopping centre before being referred for an X-ray in a hospital 2km away. I knew that if an emergency centre at a proper private hospital could provide an after-hours service, it would be much more convenient for patients. That was Mediclinic’s first step to becoming a provider of more comprehensive, quality services to patients in South Africa.”

Continuum of care

Today, Mediclinic’s day clinics across South Africa enable doctors and hospitals to perform procedures at a more affordable rate while achieving quality clinical outcomes. Another advancement that puts our patients’ changing requirements first is Mediclinic’s partnership with Intercare, a nationwide group of primary healthcare centres that are home to GPs, nurses, pharmacists, and allied health providers, such as dentists. These centres have also explored the opportunities that virtual consultations offer to improve the quality of care our patients receive and make it easier for them to access that care.

Additionally, Mediclinic’s Care Expert programme is a value-based care model for patients who need hip, knee and spinal surgery. It brings together various aspects of treatment into a streamlined, team-led journey.

The business has also expanded its mental health services and made local renal services more accessible. Venturing into precision medicine is another exciting development for the 40-year-old company, and places it firmly at the forefront of innovation. Mediclinic Precise is a bundle of DNA-based diagnostic and clinical interpretation services offering a new approach to healthcare. A patient’s unique genetic profile can now be used to customise their wellness, disease prevention and health management plan.

This growing continuum of care is supported by a digital backbone that allows patients to easily connect with their doctors online, ensuring continuous and accessible communication.  

Patient-centric culture 

As the business expands into other care settings, Mediclinic wants patients to have a seamless experience regardless of the facility where they are receiving treatment, explains Dr Van der Merwe.  

“We’re inspired by the business we bought in Dubai, where we have numerous outpatient clinics with a hospital in the middle. There, the hospital acts as a hub with spokes. We refer out of those clinics to the main hub – the hospital. We also do radiology and laboratory work, and cancer care. Everything is integrated into one big system, so patients benefit from a one-stop shop where their healthcare needs are satisfied by one provider. 

“We aim, eventually, to replicate this continuum of care in South Africa, and in Switzerland as well. We want to live up to our promise of ‘expertise you can trust’. We are driven by our purpose to enhance the quality of life – it is the motivation behind our day-to-day work.”

Today, with its proudly South African roots, Mediclinic benefits from its global footprint, Dr Van der Merwe says. “Our international connection, especially the reputation for high quality associated with Switzerland, adds to the value and peace of mind that South African patients experience when they go to one of our facilities.”