Kidney care with a difference
Posted on 6 Apr 2021
Mediclinic’s continuum of care is expanding fast, with a new series of dialysis clinics currently being launched under the branding of Mediclinic Renal Services.
Mediclinic Renal Services has an extensive strategic plan for the establishment of dialysis clinics across the country, with the immediate emphasis on 4 key areas. Mediclinic Bloemfontein Renal Services, our first unit in the country, opened its’ doors on 23 February 2021. Our units offer improved aesthetic appeal, cost effective dialysis and kidney care, while never compromising on Mediclinic’s trusted high clinical standards.
Mediclinic Renal Services is a recent merger with BGM Renal Care, a level 1 B-BBEEE specialist dialysis treatment company, and aims to bring patients who require expert, ongoing kidney care into an improved value-based model.
A major element of Mediclinic Renal Services vision is aimed at offering renal patients a vertically integrated model. This model will not only deal with Chronic Kidney disease, end stage renal function and dialysis but will also focus on the awareness of kidney disease in general and the necessary nurturing and support these patients will require.
“This along with many other value-added features is a major development in the future of renal care in South Africa,” says Brian Prinsloo, CEO of Mediclinic Renal Services. Brian, who has been instrumental in the evolution of renal care in South Africa since 2000, believes that the Mediclinic Renal services model fulfils an urgent need in the community.
“The reimbursement costs for dialysis is very high and with the rapid increase in dialysis patients, poses a major challenge to the payors. ,” he explains, “The question we asked ourselves is how we can bring these costs down without compromising on the standard of care, and against this background, we are focussed on introducing our value based clinical model, which ultimately will benefit the payors.”
The two main causes of chronic kidney disease are also the two primary chronic health conditions in South Africa: diabetes, and hypertension. Both conditions cause damage to blood vessels, in the body, as well as in the kidneys. When the damage to the blood vessels in the kidneys becomes advanced, the kidneys gradually lose function, and waste products and fluid build-up in the body, with dangerous and often fatal results.
Chronic kidney failure refers to this gradual loss of kidney function. Symptoms may include swelling of your legs, feeling tired, vomiting, loss of appetite, and confusion. The symptoms of loss of kidney function, together with complications of chronic kidney failure (heart disease, high blood pressure and anaemia), are often what lead most patients to realise that they require medical assistance.
Once a patient’s kidney function has decreased to the point of an end-stage renal disease diagnosis, regular dialysis will be initiated.
When these patients with chronic kidney disease have been stabilised in hospital, most will undergo regular courses of haemodialysis, a treatment that does some of the work that the kidneys did when they were healthy. During treatment, blood travels through tubes called blood lines from the body into the dialysis machine. While the blood is in the machine, it goes through a filter known as the dialyser, which removes waste products and extra fluid. Once it has been cleaned, the blood travels through bloodlines back into the body.
Mediclinic Renal Services dramatically improves this cycle by offering renal services that provide a comfortable and clinically sound level of care, all in one location. In our centres, patients with chronic kidney disease are integrated into an ongoing treatment programme that provides the correct treatment at the correct time, and at the hands of our highly specialised clinical team. This integrated approach results in improved patient outcomes and changed lives.
This integrated approach is also driven by patient and clinical data. “From the moment a patient arrives in the clinic, until the moment when the patient leaves for home, each treatment and interaction is recorded and measured. This helps us establish clinical benchmarks between clinics across the country. This is how we ensure patients are getting the most appropriate, highest standard of treatment.”
It also allows Mediclinic Renal Services to ensure the processes, efficiencies and ultimately patient outcomes seen in these clinics are on par with values seen overseas – raising the clinical standard of renal care in SA to an international benchmark.
Mediclinic’s merger with BGM Pharmaceuticals is designed to help facilitate partnerships between all key stake holders. It also brings potential in the form of a public-private partnership with local departments of health.
“Patients who present to state hospitals with end-stage kidney failure will be stabilised, but with these patients requiring chronic treatment, presents a challenge to the state hospitals due to limited slots available,” he explains. “So we believe that an opportunity exists to partner with the state and other private sector entities to establish a programme, where these patients can receive expert care at a subsidised rate, while offering a solution to this moral dilemma at the same time.”
Mediclinic Renal Services provide quality and innovative renal care by providing patients in the community access to world-class equipment and expertise, in the comfort of an aesthetically pleasing environment.