Mediclinic hospitals under pressure due to rampaging Delta variant
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MEDICLINIC International said on Friday that the current third wave in southern Africa was exceeding previous admissions to its facilities due to the impact of the Delta variant, and hospitals were under severe pressure.
The private hospital group said it, together with other health-care providers, had put all possible resources in place to manage the demands of the Covid-19 pandemic.
South Africa has reported an average of 19 956 new cases a day, between July 1 and July 8, according to information from the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD).
Dr Gerrit De Villiers, the chief clinical officer at Mediclinic Southern Africa, said the group could confirm a tremendous demand for hospital beds and intensive care unit (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. 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,” De Villiers said.
However, he added that the group had also noted a reduction in demand for care in the Northern Cape and Namibia.
“It is 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 the capacity within its medical wards to assist patients in this manner,” he said.
Mediclinic also has operations in Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates. In its last results for the year to end-March, Mediclinic reported a 3 percent decline in revenue to £3 billion (about R59.1 billion), significantly impacted in April 2020 by Covid-related lockdown measures and non-urgent elective procedure restrictions.
Its adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) fell by 21 percent to £426 million. Southern Africa operations reported a 9 percent decline in revenue during the same period.
De Villiers said that in southern Africa, where hospitals were experiencing pressure on resources, elective or non-emergency surgery had been reduced or temporarily suspended.
“All emergency and urgent surgeries are continuing as Mediclinic is still receiving non-Covid-19 related cases through our emergency centres and from referring doctors,” De Villiers said.
He added that the group continued to monitor the situation and was taking all the necessary precautions to provide all patients with the best care possible. The group has appealed to the South African public to act with care as the third wave continues to put the health-care sector under tremendous pressure.
“As this third wave continues to progress throughout South Africa, Mediclinic would strongly emphasise the need for the public to protect their own health and adjust their behaviour to reduce their risk of infection by the coronavirus,” De Villiers said.