South Africa News

Netcare forced to close some KZN Medicross and primary care facilities

The Netcare hospital group is on high alert in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng after widespread looting and violence.

Warehouses, shopping malls, bottle stores, and small-scale business owners have been dealt a devastating blow in the midst of a pandemic that is threatening to bring the country’s healthcare system to its knees.

Hospitals must remain operational to continue to care for the sick and those injured in the protests.

Netcare CEO Dr Richard Friedland said the security situation was putting additional strain on a fragile healthcare system.

“Extensive contingency measures are in place in Netcare Group facilities and, where needed, have been implemented to provide individuals in need of medical care with the best and safest care possible even under the current circumstances.

“Unfortunately, the violence in certain parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng is placing additional pressure on both the public and private healthcare systems,” Friedland said.

He said the extensive loss of life experienced due to Covid-19 is now being compounded by the looting and violence, which has so far claimed 72 lives, and injured many others.

Although Netcare hospitals have not been hit, Friedland said staff shortages are being experienced due to employees not being able to reach their places of work. Netcare hospitals will remain open throughout the country, he assured.

However, the following primary care and Medicross facilities in KZN have been closed temporarily as a safety measure:

  • Netcare Prime Cure Verulam
  • Netcare Medicross
  • Netcare Prime Cure Prospecton
  • Netcare Prime Cure Smith Street
  • Netcare Prime Cure Bluff
  • Netcare Prime Cure Pinetown
  • Medicross Malvern
  • Medicross Bluff
  • Medicross Hayfields
  • Medicross uMhlanga
  • Medicross Richards Bay
  • Medicross Meerensee

Virtual general practitioner consultations are available for patients to keep in contact with doctors. Patients who are unsure of the level of medical care needed can call the Netcare 911 emergency operation centre on 082 911.

Patients’ next-of-kin can call the Netcare family connect line on 0800 111 266 to get feedback on how their loved ones are doing in the hospital.

Netcare has also ensured it has adequate oxygen, medicine, food, and water supplies, Friedland said.

Medicine and specialized trauma nurses have been flown to KZN, due to one of Netcare’s major suppliers not being able to get medicine stocks to hospitals.

Vaccinations in KZN have been suspended due to the unrest.

“Despite the pressures placed on us, providing care is our calling, it is our driving purpose and we are privileged to be of service to you at this challenging time.

“We thank you in advance for your understanding and sincerely apologize for any inconvenience that may be experienced,” Friedland said.

-The Citizen

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