‘We see death’: Private facility helps reduce pressure on hospitals as critical Covid-19 patients surge

02 July 2021 - 15:23 By Reuters

On-site medic Anees Kara, short on sleep, quickly rushes to attend to a patient whose high blood pressure has suddenly increased inside a step-down facility turned into a Covid-19 ward.

The patient had been brought into the privately owned facility to avoid waiting for hours to secure a bed in overwhelmed hospitals as the third wave of infections ravages SA.

“We don’t see dead people. The funeral services see dead people. We see death. That’s the difference. We see death happening. We try to get to patients on time but unfortunately we can’t always do that,” said Kara.

When the infection and death rate started rising rapidly, Kara and his team were hardly managing on the road while doing daily Covid-19 house calls.

The facility was converted by the Muslim Association of SA and its volunteers within five days and relies on full-time and part-time volunteer doctors, paramedics, outsourced nurses and donations to keep it going.

President Cyril Ramaphosa said in several provinces public health facilities are stretched to their limits while private facilities are also buckling under the strain with ICU beds in short supply.