On Saturday 2 June 2018, 9 patients will benefit from the start of the second phase of collaborative surgeries between Mediclinic and the public health sector. During 2017 more than 100 public patients underwent life changing surgeries at various Mediclinic Hospitals. Mediclinic George and Geneva is the next hospital to offer these surgeries, including ENT and urology procedures, to patients from the George Provincial Hospital.

The first 9 life-changing procedures will be undertaken on a pro-bono basis at Mediclinic George by respected ENT surgeon Dr Tienie van Niekerk alongside anaesthetist Dr Sandy Gush. These surgeries include a range of tonsillectomies and grommets for young patients on the state’s waiting list. In addition, over the next few weeks, a number of patients will undergo life-saving urological procedures with Dr Johan Bahlmann and Dr Mark Kent, urologists practicing at Mediclinic George and Geneva. Once again the anaesthetists for these procedures, Dr Gwen Morgan-Hobson and Dr George Peach will be providing their services pro bono as part of the initiative.

The aim of the partnership with provincial health departments across South Africa is to help broaden access to quality healthcare for all South Africans while alleviating the burden of long public surgery waiting lists. The Public Private Initiatives (PPI) have proved highly successful and the intention is to roll out a further 100 surgeries over the next year. The Mediclinic surgical facilities, nursing staff and expertise from Mediclinic associated doctors, are provided free of charge in a collaboration with the local public-sector hospital. This CSI collaboration is part of the current national roll-out of pro bono surgeries by Mediclinic and is a continuation of the strong relationships built between the private and public sector during 2017.

Over the last ten years Mediclinic has successfully collaborated with various Departments of Health across the country to provide support in broadening access to healthcare services. Between September and December last year, the first round of PPI procedures were carried out at a number Mediclinic hospitals in the Western Cape, Limpopo and Free Sate, either by doctors associated with Mediclinic or from the public sector. Operations included cataract, urology and tympanoplasty (eardrum repair) procedures.

“Mediclinic George and Geneva is excited to be involved in this opportunity. To provide long awaited surgery for patients may appear to be a simple gesture, but the difference these procedures can make in the patients’ lives should never be underestimated,” says Kassie Karstens, Hospital General Manager Mediclinic George and Geneva, “We would like to thank our doctors, anaesthetists as well as nursing staff for the work being done over the next few weeks – allowing us to make such a difference in patients’ lives.”

“I wish to thank Mediclinic for extending the collaborative surgeries programme to the patients of George Provincial Hospital. We believe that the partnership is about building on and strengthening the working relationship between private and public hospitals and working together to change the lives of our people,” says Michael Vonk Chief Executive Officer George Hospital. “The collaboration with Mediclinic allows us to reap the benefits of access to the additional capacity available in Mediclinic surgical facilities and the talent of the surgeons practicing in their hospitals, while also being able to alleviate the number of urology and ENT patients on the public waiting list,” says Vonk.

“It is critical for all players in healthcare to play their part, private and public alike. Mediclinic is proud to do our bit to alleviate the public surgical waiting lists due to the severe shortage of doctors and nurses in the country. These challenges hamper healthcare delivery on a national scale. With our involvement in Public Private Initiatives we have the opportunity to add collaborative value beyond our traditional patient base,” says Lwazi Mankahla CSI Manager for Mediclinic Southern Africa.