Mediclinic Day Clinic works with Groote Schuur to Expand Eye Care to the Community

Posted on 29 November 2017

Groote Schuur hospital once again entrusted their patients to Mediclinic for life-changing cataract operations, enabling the public hospital to focus on more urgent cases.

On 15 and 22 November, Mediclinic Durbanville Day Clinic played host to the fourth phase of the ongoing public-private initiative between Mediclinic and the Western Cape Department of Health.

Two ophthalmologists associated with Mediclinic, Dr Willem Gerber and Dr Burnet Meyer, successfully performed 10 cataract procedures at Mediclinic Durbanville Day Clinic for patients who had been on the public-sector surgical waiting list at Groote Schuur hospital.

The Pro Bono Eye Surgeries

‘The eye services at public hospitals in the city carry quite a significant load. Even though we have a large service output at Groote Schuur, it is not enough to meet the demands as quickly as we would wish,’ says Dr Belinda Jacobs Medical Services Manager at Groote Schuur hospital. ‘We have a waiting list of more than 1000 patients for non-emergency cataract surgery alone.’

These 10 cases created some capacity at Groote Schuur hospital to focus on their priority level one and two surgeries. The patients are chosen by Groote Schuur hospital and operated on by doctors in private practice at Mediclinic hospitals who work on a pro bono basis, or by Groote Schuur doctors in Mediclinic facilities.

Dr Gerber, who performed the second set of cataract operations at Mediclinic Durbanville Day Clinic, says ‘sight is arguably the most crucial of the five senses so just to be able to assist patients in restoring their vision inspires me.’

Cataract, urology and eardrum repair procedures have been carried out at four Mediclinic hospitals in the Western Cape. Soon this partnership will extend to the Free State Department of Health.

Bob Govender, Industry Affairs Executive of Mediclinic Southern Africa, explains why this collaboration is so important.

‘This initiative is about more than just performing cataract procedures on patients, it is also about working together with public hospitals to create stronger relationships between the parties. The responsibility for ensuring good quality healthcare for all South Africans does not only rest with the Department of Health or our public hospitals – but with every role player in the healthcare environment. The healthcare needs of our country demand that we all play our part in the provision of care.”

Christine Taylor, Mediclinic Durbanville Hospital General Manager, expresses pride in their involvement in the collaboration: “At Mediclinic Durbanville Day Clinic, we believe our purpose is to enhance the quality of lives of our patients and we are very excited we could do exactly that last week,” she says.

Mediclinic Southern Africa wishes to thank all doctors and staff involved in making the two-day procedures a success with a special thanks to Eye Pharma and Genop Healthcare that supported the initiative with donations.

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