GEORGE NEWS - Mediclinic George Manager Kassie Karstens is positive that a new location for their planned R700-million clinic in George will soon be found.
"We are looking at a number of viable sites and will shortly decide which is best," he says.
The municipality recently rejected an application to develop a new Mediclinic facility on the sawmill site next to the Outeniqua Family Market in Kraaibosch, and also dismissed the developer's appeal.
According to general town planning fundamentals, a development outside the urban edge does not make financial sense as service delivery costs spiral because of the distance involved.
It also sets a precedent, giving other developers an opening to apply for building rights that are not in line with the spatial development plan.
No to cardiac unit
The Department of Health has refused Mediclinic George's recent licence application for a cardiac unit after Life Bay View Private Hospital in Mossel Bay informed the department that their cath lab* utilisation during the week was only 26%.
In the letter, Bay View Hospital Manager Lida Swart said a second cath lab in the area will dilute scarce skills and potentially compromise patient care. George cardiac patients presently have no choice but to go to Mossel Bay, Port Elizabeth or Cape Town.
Every year about 150 cardiac state patients are sent to Cape Town for treatment and procedures.
Only 9 extra beds
The department also approved only nine of the 74 extra beds Mediclinic George requested for the new hospital.
The department allows three beds for every 1 000 private patients and estimates that private patients in George will number 75 994 by 2018, thus allowing for 228 private beds in the city.
According to Karstens, in the 228 quota, the department unfortunately also included the 40 beds at the Neuro clinic, the 10 daycare beds at the George Surgical Centre, 12 mental health beds at teens@care and the 24 beds at the Southern Cape Sub-acute and Rehabilitation Hospital (former Intercare).
"This is a total of 86 beds. A bed for a psychiatric patient is not available to use for theatre cases, or to admit acutely sick children.
"We currently have 123 licenced beds at the main Mediclinic, plus the 54 licenced beds at Mediclinic Geneva, totalling 77, and we would have liked to increase this to at least 220 acute hospital beds.
"We plan to restate our case at the department."
People who may potentially make use of the state hospital and state clinics in George number 138 453.
*A catheterization laboratory or cath lab is an examination room in a hospital or clinic with diagnostic imaging equipment used to visualise the arteries and the chambers of the heart and treat any stenosis or abnormality found.
Members of the George medical fraternity are invited to contact Alida de Beer at firstname.lastname@example.org or Ilse Schoonraad at email@example.com or to phone them on 044 874 2424 or Ilse on her cell, 082 724 0402 to discuss the issues raised.
An article on the matter will appear next week. If wished, names will be withheld.
Read previous articles here:
- Mediclinic George application was "only for Hospital"
- Take hands to let development happen
- New hospital development rejected again
- No go for Mediclinic site
- New Mediclinic: Decision expected soon
- Application for new Mediclinic making progress
- New R500-million Mediclinic George
- Specialists need proximity to hospital
ARTICLE: ALIDA DE BEER, GEORGE HERALD JOURNALIST & ILSE SCHOONRAAD, EDITOR AT LARGE
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