Mediclinic broadens relationship with University of Western Cape

Posted on 23 September 2020

Mediclinic Southern Africa is dedicated to utilising available resources within the business to extend access to care across our country.

This traditionally evolves through long-term relationships and collaboration with organisations and provincial health departments, ensuring that the value we bring can be sustained and provides tangible outcomes for the relevant community.

In recent years, this has included the collaboration with a number of provincial health departments to support them in reducing their surgical backlogs for key procedures. In 2019, Memorandums of Understanding were signed with six provinces and more than 300 pro bono surgeries were performed in collaboration with supporting doctors and the relevant provincial health departments.

With the onset of the pandemic in 2020, elective surgeries were scaled down across the country to allow for additional capacity for COVID-19 patients. Once again, through existing relationships as well as through broader industry associations, Mediclinic sought to provide assistance to the government in treating COVID-19 patients. The first agreement was signed with the Western Cape Provincial Health Department in June, where it was agreed that Mediclinic, alongside other private healthcare providers, would support the public health sector by receiving patients where capacity constraints existed within public hospitals. “It was important for us to be part of the solution during such a challenging time for our country,” says Dr Biren Valodia, Chief Marketing Officer, Mediclinic Southern Africa. “The relationships that developed during these negotiations will serve us well in our collaborations moving forward.”

Most recently, Mediclinic sought to extend their support to the University of the Western Cape (UWC). Mediclinic has offered support to the School of Pharmacy since 2008, with a contribution of more than R1 million thus far. This support has led to leadership training programmes, first aid training as well as access for some students and junior staff to attend and present at various conferences, expanding their learning experience beyond the usual framework.

Mediclinic has also established a working relationship with the UWC’s Nursing division, where we were able to financially support two candidates completing their Bachelors of Nursing degree in 2020. “We are currently working with UWC for the selection of deserving candidates for the 2021 academic year for Mediclinic Bursary funding, where it is envisioned that we will be able to provide funding for a further 15 students, to a total value of R 525 000,” explains Dr Valodia.

The association between Mediclinic and tertiary institutions is well-established with an estimated 45 students in the healthcare sector receiving support from Mediclinic Southern Africa on an annual basis. In the long term, Mediclinic is investigating other academic opportunities with UWC such as clinical placements in Mediclinic hospitals and quality assurance collaborations.

On Wednesday, 16 September 2020, Dr Biren Valodia and Ben Johnson, Chief Executive Officer of ER24 extended this relationship with the handover of a recently decommissioned ambulance. “The ambulance has a value of approximately R210 000, but we believe that there is a greater value attached in terms of empowering the UWC students and staff to work within their community.

According to Professor Anthea Rhoda, Dean of the Faculty of Community and Health Sciences of UWC, the ambulance will be used a non-emergency health promotion vehicle for nursing students to use during their community engagement and outreach programmes.

Ben Johnson explains ER24’s motivation for the donation, “”It is very important for us to use the resources we have, to actually benefit others and to allow the university to continue with some of their very important community-based nursing projects they want to embark on. It became clear that the vehicle is paramount for them to be able to do that, and for us to be able to support them is just fantastic.”

Prof Rhoda explains, “The Faculty of Community and Health Sciences has several sites where students, including our nursing students, collaboratively conduct community engagement and community outreach activities. These community sites include Genandendal, Mitchell’s Plain, and Fisantekraal. The addition of this valuable resource will assist the School of Nursing and the faculty to expand our community-based education activities, which include, primary healthcare interventions such as screening for chronic health conditions such as diabetes and hypertension, providing health education activities as well as rehabilitation of patients with long term conditions.”

“Mediclinic and ER24 are proud to partner with the University of the Western Cape over the long term,” concludes Dr Valodia. “Mediclinic is committed to our role in extending access to care, both on an education empowerment level and from the practical provision of care.”


Published in CSI