Netcare sends staff, ventilators to ECape as cases surge, and warns about Western Cape

Business Insider SA
Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital
Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital in Cape Town.
  • Netcare is deploying more staff and ventilators to its hospitals in the Eastern Cape, as cases of Covid-19 surge.
  • Almost half of all its Covid hospitalised patients are now in the Eastern Cape.
  • The company warns that Cape Town and the Garden Route are also seeing increased hospitalisations.
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Netcare is flying in ventilators from Gauteng to the Eastern Cape as its hospitals in the province start to fill up with Covid-19 patients.

The company is also deploying nursing staff and paramedics from elsewhere to the Eastern Cape to cope with increased hospitalisations, Netwerk24 reports. Business Day says the hospital group is also considering suspending elective surgeries in the region.

Jacques du Plessis, managing director of the company’s hospital division, told a media briefing on Monday that of the 313 Covid patients currently treated in Netcare hospitals, 150 are in the Eastern Cape.

The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality and the Sarah Baartman District Municipality are battling a second wave of Covid-19, with reports that public hospitals are at full capacity. Broadcaster eNCA reported that 80% of people needing ventilators in NMBM public hospitals and half of those entering casualty wards, do not make it out alive.

Du Plessis warned that parts of the Western Cape – specifically in the Cape Town city centre, and Garden Route - are also seeing an increase in patients, Netwerk24 reports.

As the treatment of Covid cases improved, the average hospital stay of patients has fallen from 22 days at the start of the outbreak to seven days.

“(It) became apparent that not every critical patient needed a ventilator or a critical care bed, and many stable patients could be adequately treated at home. Similarly, the use of different modalities of oxygen delivery, anti-coagulants and steroids at the appropriate time contributed to lower hospital admissions, length of stay and mortality rates, the company said in its annual results statement, which was released on Monday.

Netcare’s revenue fell by 13% to R18.8 billion in the year to September, while its adjusted headline profit slumped 72% due to the impact of lockdown and the suspension of non-urgent surgeries.

In all, more than 13,400 Covid-19 patients were admitted to its hospitals. 

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