Healthcare is in everyone’s hands

Posted on 21 September 2017

Making a significant difference to the healthcare challenges in our country requires collaboration and partnership between the public and private healthcare sectors.

At 7 am on Saturday morning there was an atmosphere of calm anticipation in the air at Mediclinic Milnerton. Eight patients who have been on the Groote Schuur cataract surgery waiting list for months were about to have their sight restored at the world-class facility. Nursing staff efficiently attended to their charges’ needs as optimistic family members chatted quietly at bedsides.

“Cataract surgery is relatively uncomplicated but it’s a life-changing procedure,” says Dr Mvula Yoyo, Transformation Executive of Mediclinic Southern Africa. “It can be argued that having one’s sight restored makes more of a difference than having a limb replaced. These eight patients and their loved ones are about to benefit greatly because their quality of life is going to improve enormously.”

Dr Yoyo is clear about this united effort to afford world-class healthcare to those in need. “We are well aware of the reality that the public healthcare sector is the custodian of the health of the people of South Africa but we are also aware that the public healthcare sector is not able to do this alone,” he says.

“It’s important for Mediclinic, as part of the private sector, to get involved with alleviating the challenges, staff shortages and long waiting lists we are all aware of. We don’t want to take away the responsibility from public health care – nor do we want to be seen in competition with them. We all experience the same challenges.”

In light of this, Dr Yoyo adds that these eight cataract surgeries are an opportunity for Mediclinic to demonstrate how a collaborative effort between the private and public healthcare sectors can make a profound difference in a patient’s life.

The procedures undertaken at Mediclinic Milnerton form part of a significant investment in collaborative Tier 1 CSI initiatives where Mediclinic will be collaborating with the public sector on more than 110 operations on patients currently awaiting life-changing procedures.

Koert Pretorius, CEO of Mediclinic Southern Africa affirms that all role players in the healthcare value chain need to work together to expand access to quality healthcare for all South Africans. “It is imperative for all players in healthcare to play their part, private and public alike. A severe shortage of doctors and nurses in the country hampers healthcare delivery in both the private and public sector and through our involvement in Public Private Initiatives we have the opportunity to add value beyond our traditional patient base,” says Pretorius.

“If we want to rise to meet the many healthcare challenges in South Africa we should all take hands and work together to accommodate the significant healthcare needs of all our people. Through initiatives like these cataract procedures undertaken at Mediclinic Milnerton on Saturday, we can spread the workload and gain the expert contributions from everyone in the healthcare community,” concludes Dr Bhavna Patel, CEO of Groote Schuur Hospital.


Published in CSI