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Mediclinic News : Cataract project launched


Cataract project launched




News Description

MARITZBURG SUN An innovative partnership driven by a civil society group has resulted in the city's private healthcare sector partnering with Northdale Hospital to help tackle the backlog of 6 000 patients needing eye surgery. The Active Citizens Movement ACM recently launched the ground-breaking partnership at the Midlands Medical Centre last week bringing together KZN Department of Health and the private healthcare sector in a partnership that will potentially result in a Cataract Centre of Excellence being established at Northdale Hospital. The following institutions pledged their support to the project: Midlands Medical Centre, Mediclinic, Hilton Life Hospital, Daymed, the newly opened Pietermaritzburg Eye Hospital and McCords Hospital. Although details of the partnership are still subject to negotiations with the department of health, the ACM's chairperson Roshan Jainath, says the partnering institutions will, later in March, each sign a separate memorandum of understanding with the department. Already, according to Jainath, Hilton Life has donated a R400 000 laser machine while McCords has sponsored a microscopic machine worth around R800 000. Apart from the hospitals assisting with the surgery, one of the biggest costs involved in cataract surgery is the cost of the medical packs, around R4000 per pack. The Department of Health, however, can access these packs for around R2500 each. Other NGOs have also come on-board with offers to help sponsor the packs. Sham Moodley, a pharmacist from Merebank has facilitated the sponsorship of 2500 packs ACM has also approach a UKbased NGO to sponsor a further 4000 packs. PriceWaterhouseCoopers PwC have waivered their fees for auditing and accounting services. PWC are our auditors and are contributing their services for free. They are willing to sit on the hospital management board to oversee the unit. Jainath applauded the private sector joining hands with government to tackle the backlog saying the role of ACM in facilitating the partnership demonstrated that "civil society activism must move beyond political vocalism and result in delivering tangible benefits to communities". "We are drained today but if 6 000 people can get their eyesight back then we all should celebrate a victory for humanity. We as ACM were concerned by the plight of the impoverished Northdale patients, who had to contend with high patient volumes. For this reason, ACM saw a need to act as agents of change. We are delighted by the response of all stakeholders," said Jainath. Head of the ophthalmology department at Grey's Hospital, Dr Carl Heinz Kruse, who provided an assessment analysis on Northdale, painted a bleak picture of the under resourced institute. He said the freezing of posts by the Department of Health had a detrimental impact. "In 2016, Northdale was dealt a major blow when it lost medical officers in the unit," he said. As a consequence, the operations were stifled. Also aggravating the situation was the referral pattern that forced the hospital to take in more patients than its resources could handle, he added. Bob Govender, an Industry Affairs executive from Mediclinic, welcomed this initiative. The health department needs to be proactive. If the momentum is slower than expected next year, we will see yet another bloated backlog. Perhaps 10 000 more patients. "He urged the DOH to put in a "tsunami-like effort" so that the initiative becomes a success. Director for Non Communicable Disease in the health department, Jimmy Mthethwa, commended the initiative, likening it to government's ambitious national health insurance scheme. He said the state could commit itself to a memorandum of understanding only if it had no financial implications. He said the state's financial constraints were well documented.
Created at 2018/03/07 08:43 AM by Mediclinic
Last modified at 2018/03/07 08:43 AM by Mediclinic