Sowetans can now access world-class cardiology services on their doorstep thanks to Clinix healthcare group opening a cardiac unit at the Dr SK Matseke Memorial Hospital in Diepkloof.
The black-owned and managed private health-care group was recently granted a licence by the Gauteng Department of Health to provide affordable services where they are most needed.
Boasting a team comprising of sought-after cardiologists, led by renowned Dr Martin Mpe, the unit consists of state-of-the-art equipment.
Dr Mpho Sebesho, one of the cardiologists, said it was crucial for such services to be closer to the people in light of the prevalence of cardiovascular diseases, which she identified as a crisis.
“We cannot over-emphasise the importance of this facility because if a patient gets a heart attack, which is an emergency, the patient needs to be in theatre within 90 minutes so it’s better to have a facility close by,” said Sebesho, adding that in the past a patient would be sent to other hospitals which were farther away.
“A patient can die on the way. They can get arrhythmia which is related to a heart attack, and if they don’t get arrhythmia, the heart muscles are not getting enough blood supply, the patient can die from that.
“If they don’t die from the mortality point of view, there is a lot of morbidity, suffering that is associated with that.”
Cardiologist services. Picture: Supplied
Soweto residents had mixed feelings.
Jacobus Mmliti said: “It’s a good thing to have the hospital in Soweto.
“I would also use the hospital if I was on medical aid but unfortunately I’m not.”
Lebo Molefe concurred. “It’s a good thing for a private hospital to be in a township. I’m not on medical aid but I’m one of the people who are hoping that they can make packages for people like myself who can’t afford medical aid but are employed.”
Ayanda Ndlovu said the location made no difference.
“It doesn’t make a difference. The question is can ordinary people in Soweto just walk in and be treated? It’s an issue of access,” said Ndlovu.
Clinix deputy chief executive Dr Dumani Kula said not only is it important to bring services closer to the people, it is also important that people are able to afford them.
“What we have been trying to do is make sure that we have products that are affordable for people who are unemployed, for example, we are actually rolling out new maternity services and making them cheaper.
“Similarly, this year we are going to roll out cataracts products and casualty services which we have made more affordable. So we are trying wherever possible to reduce the cost of care.”
Kula said the launch of the service is the latest in a series of other services that are being rolled out at the facility.