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Pro-Bono surgeries bring hope to patients on public sector waiting lists

Doctors performing surgery. Picture: National Cancer Institute/ Unsplash

Doctors performing surgery. Picture: National Cancer Institute/ Unsplash

Published Jul 20, 2023


In a remarkable initiative to honour Mandela Month, Mediclinic is collaborating with provincial departments of health to perform pro-bono surgeries for patients on public sector surgical waiting lists.

This long-term partnership between local hospitals, associated doctors and health departments aims to utilise Mediclinic's additional capacity to provide much-needed assistance to patients from the public sector.

From urology surgeries in KwaZulu-Natal to corneal transplants in Gauteng and maxillofacial cases in the Northern Cape, these surgeries are set to make a significant difference in the lives of patients awaiting treatment.

KwaZulu Natal:

On July 21, Mediclinic Pietermaritzburg will host 10 patients undergoing urology surgeries performed by renowned Paediatric Surgeon Dr Mangray and his team.

This collaboration with Greys Hospital also includes scoliosis surgeries performed by Dr Puddu, benefiting patients from the waiting list who will receive surgery at Mediclinic Pietermaritzburg.


Mediclinic Morningside, together with their doctor partners, will be performing pro-bono botox interventions for cerebral palsy children with excessive drooling.

Additionally, corneal transplants will be carried out in the last week of July for patients on the Gauteng Department of Health's waiting list and Forest Town School.

This marks the first time that transplant surgeries have been included in Medclinics’ pro-bono offering, promising a significant improvement in the quality of life for these patients.

Northern Cape:

In the Northern Cape, Mediclinic Kimberley will be hosting maxillofacial cases to repair mandibular fractures in collaboration with Prime Surgical, who will be supplying the necessary tools and consumables for the procedures.

Later in the month, ENT tonsillectomies will follow for younger patients, also at Mediclinic Kimberley. These surgeries will be performed by doctors from the public sector, utilising the facilities of Mediclinic.

Western Cape

By the end of July, approximately 160 patients will undergo gynaecological surgery in eight of Mediclinic’s Cape Town-based hospitals.

“This is through a collaboration with Mitchells Plain Hospital and the Western Cape Department of Health,” said Jacek Marszalek, medical manager of Mitchells Plain Hospital.

Many of their female patients have been waiting for surgery for a very long time. The coordination and teamwork for these surgeries have been considerable, and we are proud of the efforts of all the participants, including the anaesthetic group, who have assisted with the provision of anaesthesiology services via their members.

Doctors across the province have volunteered their time across two weekends to achieve this ambitious total.

This is the first time that transplant surgeries have formed part of Mediclinic’s pro bono offering, said Bob Govender, Industry Affairs Executive at Mediclinic and co-ordinator of these surgeries.

Patients are identified by the relevant public sector facility, based on an evaluation and set of criteria, and are brought to the participating medical facilities for surgery.

Mediclinic provides nursing care and theatre facilities, while associated surgeons and anaesthetists contribute with their expertise.

Both private and public sector doctors are involved in these surgical efforts, demonstrating the range of solutions possible through collaboration.

Since 2018, Mediclinic has performed 800 surgeries, including ENT, urology, cataract, orthopaedic and many other procedures, across various provinces.

The collaborative surgeries have assisted in fostering stronger relationships between the private sector and various provincial departments of health, exploring workable solutions in the move towards a more accessible healthcare system for the country.

“I would like to thank the specialists involved in these surgeries for their time and dedication,” expressed Govender.

Additionally, ‘’I would like to reaffirm our commitment to these collaborations with the public sector. We at Mediclinic will continue to seek out opportunities to interact and support where needed, developing workable solutions for the challenges faced within the industry.”