While the Western Cape has experienced the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic earlier than many other provinces, Mediclinic Cape Town provides some important insight into how the delay in seeking care may have impacted the community.
“We understand that many people may be avoiding hospital Emergency Centres. We recognise that we have been told to stay home in order to reduce the risk during the lockdown period. We are also aware of the concern that individuals may have of catching the virus by coming to a hospital. We want to reassure our community that it is safe to seek care,” says Michelle Africa, Hospital General Manager of Mediclinic Cape Town.
Africa continues, “We want to assure our community that the hospital has put all the necessary measures in place to manage both Covid and non-Covid patients. Our hospital is continuing to offer elective surgical procedures to ensure that patients are not delaying much needed care and our units are operating well within capacity to treat those requiring care.
“Mediclinic Cape Town has implemented screening for patients, staff and other individuals coming to the hospital. We have separate Covid and non-Covid related treatment areas to further reduce your risk. Our staff have all been equipped with the necessary PPE to ensure that we are able to care for all our patients, whatever their medical needs. Each patient is issued with a cloth mask for the period of admission should they not have their own, unless a surgical mask is appropriate, to further reduce the risk of transmission.”
Doctors at the hospital are also highlighting their concern regarding delaying chronic or urgent medical care, “We have seen our chronic patients delaying their follow up care – putting their health at further risk. Their condition has often been far worse than if they had sought early intervention,” says Dr Edward Naicker, Principal Clinical Manager at ER Consulting. “We want to encourage the community to trust the expertise available, and prioritise their own health.”
He continues, “If you are ill or in pain, and if you would normally have visited one of our Emergency Centres because of these symptoms before the pandemic, then you should continue to seek medical care to ensure that your health is not placed further at risk. This especially applies if you have chest pain, signs of a stroke, other severe pain, problems with your diabetes, or any other medical condition that you are concerned about.”
“We recognise that some parents may have postponed elective surgical procedures such as tonsillectomies or grommets prior to and during the peak of the pandemic. We are comfortable now that, in the Western Cape, the peak is almost behind us so that we are able to pick up the backlog,” explains Dr Karro, ENT at Mediclinic Cape Town. He continues, “I feel confident that the hospital has all the measures in place to ensure the safety of patients and that parents can feel reassured that we can proceed with the surgeries as needed.”
Michelle Africa concludes, “Our hospital is ready to safely receive you. Please do not put your family’s health at further risk.”