On Saturday, 10 November 2018, another six patients will benefit from life changing surgeries that form part of a collaboration between Mediclinic and public healthcare. Since 2017, Mediclinic has been working with public hospitals across South Africa to assist them in reducing waiting lists for key procedures.

Mediclinic Paarl is the next hospital in the group to offer ENT surgeries to public sector patients, this time they will be assisting the Paarl Provincial Hospital. The six life-changing procedures will be undertaken on a pro-bono basis at Mediclinic Paarl by respected ENT surgeon Dr Anton van Lierop alongside anaesthetist Dr Dirk Geldenhuys. Most surgeries will comprise of adenoidectomy and tonsillectomies on young patients from the state’s waiting list.

Dr van Lierop believes that early intervention can have a dramatic effect on these children’s lives, “Tonsillectomies offer patients the chance at better health, as the recurring infections usually result in time away from school. If we can assist these patients, not only will their quality of life be improved, but most often their ability to function fully in the classroom environment will be restored.”

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 have proved highly successful with an initial 100 patients in the first year and an intended roll out of a further 100 surgeries within the current financial 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.

Patients are selected from waiting lists at the relevant public facility by their consulting specialists, and are then examined by the surgeon in private practice. The surgery then takes place within a Mediclinic facility where most are expected to be discharged and return home the same day. Previous surgeries have included urology, cataract and other ENT procedures. Hospitals across the group in Limpopo, Western Cape, Free State have already assisted in surgeries, with additional plans in Kwa Zulu Natal, Gauteng and Limpopo being finalised in the near future.

“I wish to thank Mediclinic for extending the collaborative surgeries programme to the patients of Paarl 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 people in our communities,” says Francois van der Watt, Hospital Manager at Paarl Provincial 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 ENT patients on the public waiting list,” says van der Watt.

“Mediclinic Paarl is excited to be included 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 Jeanine Visser, Hospital General Manager Mediclinic Paarl, “We would like to thank our doctors, anaesthetists as well as nursing staff for the their time and expertise – allowing us to make such a difference in these young patients’ lives.”

“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 Bob Govender, Industry Affairs Executive for Mediclinic Southern Africa.