We've got news for you.

Register on TimesLIVE at no cost to receive newsletters, read exclusive articles & more.
Register now

Fact check: 'No, 26 doctors are not admitted in ICU at Milpark' — Netcare

The hospital group however said its facilities were strained and they had to transfer two patients needing ICU admission to KZN on Saturday.

27 June 2021 - 16:27 By belinda pheto
Netcare Milpark has refuted claims that 26 doctors are fighting for their lives in the hospital's ICU. File photo.
Netcare Milpark has refuted claims that 26 doctors are fighting for their lives in the hospital's ICU. File photo.
Image: Alon Skuy

Netcare has refuted claims that 26 doctors have been admitted to its Milpark hospital’s ICU. This follows a message that has been making the rounds on WhatsApp groups, claiming that doctors were fighting for their lives in the ICU at Milpark.

“Netcare refutes the statement completely. It is not true that 26 doctors have been admitted to the ICU department of Netcare Milpark Hospital,” Jacques du Plessis, MD of Netcare’s hospital division, said in response to questions by TimesLIVE.

Meanwhile, Netcare said for the first time on Saturday, they had to transfer two patients requiring care in an ICU (intensive care unit) setting to a Netcare facility in KwaZulu-Natal.

“This is a strategy we adopt if a patient is waiting for urgent care while in an ED (emergency department) for a prolonged period and we cannot accommodate them in the appropriate setting. Patient and family agreement is important in such cases,” Du Plessis said.

The hospital group said its facilities in Gauteng, like all other private and public healthcare facilities in the province, continue to experience an unprecedented demand to provide hospital care for Covid-19 positive patients.  

“We continue to monitor capacity in our hospitals on an ongoing, real-time basis as the situation remains fluid. Over the past few weeks, we have transferred some patients who could not be admitted to the hospital where they sought help, to other Netcare hospitals and other private hospitals in the province.  

“This is despite us having optimised our Covid-19 bed capacity and having contracted more resident medical officers and clinical associates to render assistance to as many patients as possible during the fast-escalating Covid-19 surge which we are currently experiencing in Gauteng,” Du Plessis said.

Du Plessis said they will continue with this strategy until there is an easing on the already exhausted resources.

 “Other private hospital groups have also adopted this strategy and transferred patients to facilities outside the province, and others are likely to find themselves in the same position unless the curve starts to flatten,” he added.

Du Plessis pleaded with South Africans to remain vigilant to help protect themselves, their loved ones, and the healthcare system.

“It is critical for each individual to closely adhere to Covid-19 precautions including washing their hands regularly, avoiding social gatherings, ensuring that your work and home environment is well ventilated, maintaining social distancing, and always wearing a mask in public and when in the presence of others, to protect yourself, your loved ones, and to help prevent the spread of the virus.

“We also appeal to individuals to test for Covid-19 and seek care from their general practitioners early if they are concerned that they may have contracted the virus. Many persons unfortunately still wait to seek medical care until their condition becomes so severe that they require treatment in a critical care unit, which places immense pressure on emergency medical services, emergency departments and the healthcare system as a whole. 

“Without every person taking personal responsibility to diligently adhering to these precautions to avoid contracting and passing on the virus, the third wave is not likely to flatten but may escalate even further,” Du Plessis said.