Quinton Boucher

Always looking to the future and furthering their services, Mediclinic Newcastle is proud to announce — the various Newcastle and KwaZulu-Natal communities have much to look forward to with the arrival of Dr Ntsika Nqeketo, a specialist physician.

Radiating an air of professionalism and care, Dr Ntsika Nqeketo is a medical practitioner whose expertise are set to contribute significantly towards the healthcare sector throughout the area.

A specialist physician, being a doctor who has completed advanced education and training in a specific field of medicine, Dr Nqeketo explains, his studies began at the Medical University of South Africa (Medunsa).

“I completed my medical studies in 2005 and went onto doing my internship and community service thereafter.”

In 2008, Dr Nqeketo states, he took steps to further his medical knowledge, thereby specialising — a journey which kept him occupied until 2011.  “I then went to Cape Town with a proto skill, before returning to Pretoria, where I did my certificate in nephrology. I qualified as a nephrologist this year.”

In laymen’s terms, a nephrologist is a kidney specialist. To elaborate, nephrology is a speciality of medicine focused on the kidneys, precisely normal kidney function and kidney disease, the preservation of kidney health, and the treatment of kidney disease, from diet and medication to renal replacement therapy (dialysis and kidney transplantation).

Nephrology also studies systemic conditions that affect the kidneys, such as diabetes, hypertension and autoimmune disease.

The doctor explains his decision to become a nephrologist stems from the fact that many medical conditions affect the kidneys. Elaborating further by stating, “There is a risk of kidney failure in our community from illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension, HIV, as well as connective tissue diseases.”

With all these illnesses affecting the kidneys, Dr Nqeketo points out; kidneys are practically at the centre of the practice of medicine.

Going on to say, as a student, he always loved internal medicine, adding, “When I did my internship and community service, I mainly did internal medicine. I think a bulk of patients who come to the hospital are internal medicine patients.”

Additionally, he says the relationships forged with patients also adds to the attractiveness in specialising in the said medical field.

“It is because your patients are mostly chronic patients, and you need to follow up with them until you make a difference in their lives. It is unlike surgery, where a patient comes in, you cut, and you never see them again. We establish long-term relationships with our patients.”

Dr Nqeketo says it is through these long-term relationships, that he and other specialist physicians can educate patients on their respective ailments and ensure they adhere to the necessary medical plan set up to assist them.

But what inspired the doctor to set his roots in Newcastle and join the Mediclinic Newcastle team?

“What really attracted me to the area is that there are many dialysis units around, yet there has never been a kidney specialist in this region.”

Admitting that he is uncertain how far Zululand goes, the doctor highlights that the closest kidney specialist in the area is situated in Richards Bay. “So, I saw an opportunity to come and assist people regarding nephrology.”

With his focus on furthering medical offerings within the area, Dr Nqeketo explains his expertise and knowledge can prove to be beneficial for the community in two distinct ways.

Firstly by assisting in remedying the shortage of physicians in the area and secondly, by bringing nephrology to the various communities.

Therefore, he says, “So, coming in as a physician and a nephrologist, will definitely benefit the community. Because it is basically a provision of internal medicine services, as well as a sub-speciality service.”

With his offices located at Suite 4 of Hospital Park, directly across from Mediclinic Newcastle, Dr Nqeketo emphasises, if anyone needs a medical opinion, he and the Mediclinic Newcastle team are there to offer the relevant services.

As he begins his medical duties in Newcastle, Dr Nqeketo concludes by saying one of his goals for the region is the education of controlling the risk factors of kidney diseases. “Those who have developed kidney disease, have optimal dialysis and we slowly introduce a transplant programme for them,” he concludes.

We welcome Dr Nqeketo to our community, and as a new, Newcastillian — we look forward to the positive impact he will have on our community.

Authors: Quinton Boucher

Edited: Calvin Swemmer