Tersia Gopi 2 minutes read
Mediclinic Newcastle’s Doctor Relationship Manager, Mathys Bornman, Patient Experience Manager, Heather Govere and Hospital Manager, Japie Greyling.
Private cancer patients were left despondent, after learning Hopelands Cancer Centre Newcastle had closed its doors this month.
The closure meant patients would need to travel to Ladysmith or Pietermaritzburg to receive treatment. After Mediclinic Newcastle became aware of the crisis however, plans are now in the pipeline to offer oncology at its facility.
Hospital Manager, Japie Greyling said: “A board meeting was held on November 14 and one of the issues on the agenda was the future of oncology at Mediclinic Newcastle.”
News of the closure prompted two of Newcastle’s well established specialists to offer to fly oncologists from Pietermaritzburg by means of helicopter to Newcastle to render oncology services.
“Due to the shortage of oncologists and the distance between Pietermaritzburg and Newcastle regarding traffic, the doctors decided it was not feasible,” said Greyling.
Jolted by the need to provide oncology treatment to its patients, Greyling said the board requested him and his team to find workable solutions.
“I had a meeting with an oncologist from a practice in Gauteng and also tested the waters to see if there is any interest in offering oncological services to the community,” he reported.
In the interim, the specialist inquired about the number of patients who were currently undergoing both chemo- and radiotherapy, and who required follow-up consultations.
“We have estimated about 30 to 50 patients require services from talking to doctors, but we need specific numbers.
We need to know the figures so we can present the correct numbers to the oncologists,” encouraged Greyling.
He explained Mediclinic planned to have an area in the hospital which could accommodate the proposed cancer treatment.
“The set-up will be similar to the renal units where patients can receive chemotherapy. The operational costs will covered by the hospital.”
The short-term strategy:
“For now, we want to establish basic oncological services and treatment at the hospital, which include chemotherapy and consultation appointments with oncologists.”
The sustainable long-term solution:
“We are looking at establishing a public-private-partnership (PPP) with our colleagues in the State to render radiotherapy and stereotactic radiosurgery to all members of the community.”
Doctor Relationship Manager, Mathys Bornman said the engagement with the community will assist Mediclinic to
explore ways to serve and aid patients.
“Our main focus is to serve the community, staff and medical practitioners. That is what Mediclinic stands for,” emphasised Bornman.
Patient Experience Manager, Heather Govere reiterated one could not understand the importance of cancer treatment if it had not affected one personally.
“This is a passion for us because we understand cancer can be beaten, and although we are a business, this venture would be a cost neutral partnership. We want to call on all parties in Government and private sectors to help us make this dream come true for our community,” concluded Greyling.
Cancer patients or their families and caregivers are urged to contact Greyling on 034 317 0100 or alternatively email their stories to Newcastle.Oncology@Mediclinic.co.za or firstname.lastname@example.org in order to compile a report and proposal to submit to the oncologist.