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Mediclinic sees high bed demand, suspends non-urgent surgeries

09 July 2021 - 16:29 By kgaugelo masweneng
Covid-19 beds are running out at MediClinic. Stock photo.
Covid-19 beds are running out at MediClinic. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/HXDBZXY

Mediclinic Southern Africa says it is under great pressure for hospital beds due to the increasing number of Covid-19 admissions and has suspended non-emergency surgeries.

Dr Gerrit de Villiers, Mediclinic’s chief clinical officer, said in a statement on Friday the demand could be attributed to the Delta variant.

“Mediclinic can confirm a tremendous demand for hospital beds and ICU resources in most provinces, putting the hospitals under severe pressure. The pressure is highest in Gauteng, Mpumalanga, Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape,” he said.  

“This demand is being experienced across most of the industry because of the increase in patient numbers and this is expected to continue in the coming weeks.

“We have also noted a reduction in demand for care within the Northern Cape and Namibia.”

He said it was important to note that while ICU and high care capacity may vary from hospital to hospital depending on the number of licensed beds, not all Covid-19 patients require ICU care or mechanical ventilation.

“Many admitted patients are treated successfully with supplemental oxygen and other supportive treatment modalities and Mediclinic has capacity within its medical wards to assist patients in this manner.

“Patients arriving at our emergency centres follow the triage process whereby clinical priority is determined. Urgent cases will be stabilised and admitted, or transferred to another suitable facility to ensure that they receive the appropriate care.”

Revised visiting hours have been implemented in many of their hospitals, depending on the evolution of the pandemic in a particular region. In regions experiencing the peak, visiting hours have been temporarily suspended, but family can contact the hospital for more information on what options are locally available to engage with loved ones.  

“Where possible, measures are also in place to further increase our capacity through reallocation of non-Covid-19 units, as well as ensuring that oxygen capacity and supply is sufficient to support the need for supplemental oxygen in our wards.”