Mediclinic Limpopo brings expert care to the community with pro bono surgeries
Posted on 26 November 2018
Urologists at Mediclinic Limpopo Day Clinic recently performed life-changing procedures for 10 young patients. But that’s not all – doctors now plan on making these pro bono surgeries a monthly fixture.
On Thursday, 15 November, urologists based at Mediclinic Limpopo Day Clinic performed life-changing, pro bono surgery on 10 young patients. These patients were selected from surgical waiting lists at Polokwane Provincial Hospital, and most of them required orchiopexy, to correct undescended testes.
These surgeries form part of an ongoing relationship between Mediclinic and provincial health structures across the country, where spare theatre capacity within the private sector is utilised to assist the provincial facilities located within these regions.
The aim of this ongoing partnership between Mediclinic and local state hospitals is to help broaden access to quality healthcare for all South Africans while alleviating the burden of long public surgery waiting lists.
“Mediclinic places our patients at the centre of everything we do,” says Stephane Moelich, Mediclinic Limpopo Day Clinic Manager. “This is something I believe in very strongly, myself: we are here for our patients. Right from our first meeting with government officials to discuss the partnership we knew we didn’t want this to be a once-off event. In fact, we plan to perform pro bono urology and ENT surgeries every month.”
“In Limpopo Province, we find it difficult to attract specialist doctors,” says Dr Ntodeni Ndwamato, acting deputy director general for tertiary health services and academic development at Limpopo Department of Health. “In fact, if you look at the statistics, Limpopo is one of the provinces with the fewest specialist doctors in South Africa. This means patients can wait for years to receive treatment – but some of these conditions can complicate or worsen over time. This is why we appreciate the effort Mediclinic has made to reach out into the community. They supply the expertise and consumable materials required to really give these patients a better quality of life.”
Tshilani, 11, was one of the patients who underwent surgery. “His testicles are not where they should be,” said his mother, Eunice. “And the doctors told me that in the future, this is a problem that could lead to cancer. This is the first time in a hospital for us, so I am a little bit nervous. But I’m excited too. This operation means my boy can grow up and have a normal life.”
Daniel, 14, was another patient admitted for orchiopexy surgery. “His teachers would call me from the school and say there is a problem,” said his mom, Grace. “That’s when we found out his testes are not positioned properly. I’m very glad that he is being treated today. It will help him a lot.”
“Sometimes it’s too painful and I can’t play properly,” Daniel said on the day. “So I’m excited to be able to play properly with my friends again.”
“Providing surgery for patients may seem like a simple gesture,” says MC Botha, Hospital General Manager: Mediclinic Limpopo Day Clinic. “But we cannot underestimate the difference these procedures will make in the life of these children. That is why everyone here at Mediclinic Limpopo Day Clinic is so excited to have these opportunities.”
“As we have demonstrated through more than 150 surgeries to date, we feel it is critical for all players in healthcare to play their part, private and public alike,” says Bob Govender, Industry Affairs Executive: Mediclinic Southern Africa. “Mediclinic is proud that we are able to alleviate some of the pressure on the public surgical waiting lists and to make a substantial difference in so many lives.”