Improving healthcare services in the North West
A tertiary hospital in Klerksdorp has expanded its complement of specialist clinicians by 13, which means state patients can look forward to a better level of healthcare.
The quality of healthcare in the North West is set to improve following the recent appointment of 13 specialists at Tshepong hospital in Klerksdorp. The new specialists comprise a cardiologist, cardiothoracic surgeon, gynaecologist, plastic surgeon, neurosurgeon, general surgeon, maxillofacial surgeon and nephrologists. “We strategically recruited these clinicians because they are indeed solution providers to the health problems we experience in the province,” said North West Health MEC Madoda Sambatha. He said the appointments were made possible by the hospital’s strategic alliance with the Witwatersrand University Medical School. The MEC said the provincial health department must optimise public services to ensure that greater numbers of people are able to access quality healthcare. The hospital was upgraded from a regional hospital to a tertiary one, which means it no longer only services the Dr Kenneth Kaunda District but the entire province. It is the largest referral hospital in the province and is able to accommodate 900 inpatients at district, regional and tertiary level. Professor Binu Luke, who is the chief specialist physician and tertiary services co-ordinator at the hospital, said beefing up the clinical specialist structure will enable patients who rely on the public health sector to enjoy better quality care and benefit from in-depth medical expertise. Prof Luke was involved in the recruitment of the specialists. Hospital CEO Polaki Mokatsane said the hospital has positioned itself as a provincial leader in efficient and effective clinic intervention, management and quality patient care. “The hospital has since the year 2000 implemented a strategy to increase the number of tertiary hospital-based services available,” said Mokatsane. The major clinical departments include: Internal Medicine which is the largest department with 341 inpatient medical beds. The department manages two ICUs; the cardiology, renal and MDR/XDR TB units; and the Wellness Clinic. It caters for approximately 5 400 outpatients per month. General Surgery: 159 inpatient beds and around 1 750 outpatients per month. Paediatrics Department: The 68-bed department includes a general ward and neonatal unit, with ventilator facilities for 10 babies. It sees approximately 1 240 outpatients per month. Orthopaedics Department: 77 beds, serving approximately 1 620 outpatients per month. Obstetrics & Gynaecology: 72 beds, serving around 500 mostly high-risk deliveries per month. The department also serves approximately 550 gynaecology outpatients per month. In 2017, the hospital was overall first runner-up in the Centre for Public Service Innovation Awards in the category: Innovative Service Delivery Institution. This was all thanks to the hospital’s oncology unit for rendering excellent and innovative services to help cancer patients. “Oncology services have over time demonstrated tangible improvement in the quality of life of cancer patients,” said Mokatsane. Some of the innovations implemented by the hospital includes: computerised imaging services for treatment planning and diagnostic purposes; a daily clinic for the review of post-treatment cancer patients; and a brachytherapy machine to boost cancer treatment and stop bleeding in emergency services. The hospital also has the province’s only neurosurgery department, which has successfully treated all varieties of diseases and disorders involving the brain and spine.