‘A step in the right direction’ – 13 private hospitals announced as Covid-19 vaccination sites

13 private hospitals announced as Covid-19 vaccination sites
Private hospitals add to the number of vaccination sites across the country (Hello I’m Nik/Unsplash)
Written by Amy Green

The private hospitals are located in all nine provinces and will vaccinate their own staff as well as healthcare workers in other hospitals in the area.

Thirteen private clinics will now provide Covid-19 vaccinations, broadening inoculation efforts around the country.

The hospitals were chosen based on the number of Covid-19 cases they have treated and their proximity to research and other healthcare facilities within their “catchment areas,” the Hospital Association of South Africa (HASA) said on Wednesday.

This will “enable as wide a geographic spread of the vaccine rollout as possible with the limited numbers of vaccine doses available,” HASA said in a statement.

“At each site, the national department of health requires that facilities first vaccinate their own workers at risk and those of the selected limited hospitals identified in their catchment areas,” said  HASA.

The private hospitals are:

  • Gatesville Medical Centre in Cape Town
  • Ahmed Kathrada Private Hospital in Soweto
  • Netcare Milpark in Johannesburg
  • Life Cosmos in Emalahleni
  • Life Peglerae in Rustenburg
  • Life Rosepark in Bloemfontein
  • Life St Dominics in East London
  • Netcare Greenacres in Port Elizabeth
  •  Mediclinic Nelspruit in Nelspruit
  • Mediclinic Upington in Upington
  • Mediclinic Limpopo in Polokwane
  • Netcare Pholoso in Polokwane
  • Netcare St Augustine’s in Durban

This list “could change in the next two weeks as more vaccine doses become available and adjustments to plans become necessary” and that adjustments “will be communicated timeously,” HASA added.

The first of these Melomed Hospital in Gatesville in Cape Town began inoculating staff against Covid-19 on Tuesday.

Welcome addition

University of the Witwatersrand’s health dean Professor Shabir Madhi told Health-e News that the addition of these private facilities is “a step in the right direction.”

“However, across the public and private sector [vaccination sites] will have to be scaled up massively once we start more widespread vaccination,” he said.That two predominantly rural provinces, the Eastern Cape and Limpopo, have two private vaccination sites is significant because of the challenges these regions face in access to health services.

“I think this is an important development as, to date, medical practitioners in private practice have struggled to access vaccination,” said Russell Rensburg, director of the Rural Health Advocacy Project.

“The introduction of the private sector will accelerate vaccine coverage among health workers. The sooner we finish phase one [which includes healthcare workers only] the quicker we can start with subsequent phases [which include other at-risk populations]. It is only then that our real challenges will be exposed.” —Health-e News

About the author

Amy Green