Mediclinic Stellenbosch joins Groote Schuur

Posted on 13 November 2017

Twelve Groote Schuur Hospital patients recently underwent urology procedures at Mediclinic Stellenbosch. This forms part of a large-scale Corporate Social Investment project that focuses on collaboration between the public and private healthcare sectors.

The Groote Schuur Hospital patients awaiting transurethral resection of a bladder tumour (TURBT) surgery at Mediclinic Stellenbosch on Saturday 28 October are surprisingly upbeat. Trading stories, offering support and sharing jokes, these state patients had been on Groote Schuur’s urology surgical list for some time and are relieved to be having the surgery.

The public healthcare system is challenged by South Africa’s high burden of disease and many elective patients are added to long waiting lists for theatre time as a result. This significant Public Private Initiative alleviates some of the pressure on the longest urology surgical waiting lists at Groote Schuur hospital and demonstrates Mediclinic’s commitment to a collaborative approach that improves access to healthcare and reduces the burden of long surgery waiting lists.

Mediclinic Stellenbosch and Groote Schuur Hospital Pro Bono Operations

Dr Jonathan Wicht, a specialist urologist at both Somerset Hospital and Groote Schuur Hospital, performed the procedures on a pro bono basis. As he explains, when patients with localised bladder tumours are operated on early enough, a TURBT might be the only treatment they require. ‘If there are long waiting times however, a few patients will progress onto requiring more advanced procedures – possibly requiring chemotherapy or cystectomy.

‘It’s an interesting birthday present to receive,’ said patient George Mocke, adding he is grateful for the chance to undergo this potentially life-changing procedure without having to wait months. Fellow patient Bernard Price said he’s thankful the surgery is non-invasive and that he’ll be up and about in no time. ‘I’m very calm and confident that I’m in excellent hands,’ emphasised another patient, Denise Bardien.

As Dr Jonathan Wicht adds, ‘The TURBT is used for diagnosis, staging and treatment for those suffering from non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer. For many suffering from bladder tumours, the TURBT is a life-saving urology procedure.’

‘This partnership is not just about performing surgical procedures on public patients, says Carol van Zyl, Hospital General Manager of Mediclinic Stellenbosch. ‘We all have to play our part for our country to benefit. Through this collaboration, we are strengthening our working relationship with the public hospitals and adding value together.’

By December this year, over 100 surgical procedures, including cataract surgery and tympanoplasty, or eardrum repair, will have been performed at least five Western Cape Mediclinic facilities either by doctors associated with Mediclinic or by public healthcare doctors using Mediclinic facilities.

‘It is imperative for all players in healthcare to contribute, private and public alike,’ says Bob Govender, Industry Affairs Executive of Mediclinic Southern Africa. ‘Mediclinic is proud to add value to improve the lives of South Africans through our commitment to working alongside our colleagues from the public sector.’

Although the first phase of this PPI is concentrated in the Western Cape, Mediclinic is currently in discussions to pursue these partnerships in Mpumalanga, Limpopo and the Free State in the near future.

Published in CSI