State patients ditch surgery waiting list thanks to Mediclinic Limpopo

Written by Mogale Mojela

A collaboration between the Limpopo Department of Health and a private hospital has seen many patients waiting for surgery at state facilities receive their operations through a pro bono agreement.

Mediclinic Limpopo and the Provincial Department of Health, through a collaboration named the #ConnectingForCare initiative, are seeking to reduce the current backlog in public health institutions by offering free operations to young patients from Polokwane Provincial Hospital.

Recently the doctors at Mediclinic Limpopo Day Clinic performed pro bono urology surgeries on 10 young patients. The procedures ranged from orchiopexy, Inguinia hernia and hydrocele repair to ear, nose and throat (ENT) surgeries.

Access to healthcare

According to Bob Govender, the Industry Affairs Executive at Mediclinic Southern Africa, the relationship between the private and public sector aims to expand the access to quality health care, decrease the waiting list for key surgeries and build a strong relationship between the parties.

So far over 150 patients have been assisted countrywide since 2017, and in Limpopo over 40 patients have benefited from the program so far this year.

Here in the province we find it difficult to attract specialist doctors. This means that patients can wait years to receive treatment.

“Mediclinic has been performing pro bono surgeries for number of years, but this collaborative and strategic partnership with the Department of Health was initiated in 2017. Since then we have been working closely with the local public hospitals to assist with the specific needs,” said Govender.

“This initiative is aimed at broadening access to quality health care for all South Africans while alleviating the long public surgery waiting list. We are also able to build stronger relationships between role players in both sectors, as we identify where we can develop solutions to many of the current challenges.”

“Mediclinic Limpopo Day Clinic has assisted with 21 cataract surgeries early in 2018, with an additional 10 urology and 10 ENT surgeries performed in the last week or so,” Govender added.

Govender said medical officers from the provincial facility were included in the surgical team during the recent surgeries in order for them to gain experience.

Dr Ntodeni Ndwamato, the acting deputy general for Tertiary Health Services and Academic Development at the Limpopo Department of Health, said: “Here in the province we find it difficult to attract specialist doctors. This means that patients can wait years to receive treatment. We appreciate the effort Mediclinic has made to reach out into the community. They supply the expertise and consumable materials required to give patients a better quality of life.”

About the author

Mogale Mojela

Mogale Mojela is one of our Limpopo based citizen journalists. He was born and raised at Topanama Village in Tzaneen. Mojela went to Serurubele High School and after completing his matric went to study media at the University of Limpopo. He has freelanced for The Tribe Newspaper and Mopani Herald in his hometown. Currently, he is also a radio presenter at a community radio station Greater Tzaneen FM.