New neurosurgeon a big asset to Zululand
ZULULAND now has its very own neurosurgeon - Dr Kritish Timakia.
Originally from Durban, Dr Timakia has recently set up practice at both the newly opened Melomed Private Hospital and Netcare The Bay Hospital.
He spent the past eight years at Nkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital’s neurosurgical unit, where he qualified as a neurosurgeon and recently obtained his Master’s Degree.
Zululand lured him, however, and he is excited about the prospect of moving over from provincial to private hospitals.
‘I gained tremendous experience working at a busy public hospital where I was allowed to not only observe and be mentored by some of South Africa’s top neurosurgeons, but to also have hands-on experience to develop skills as a neurosurgeon,’ he says.
‘However, public hospitals do have their challenges which you don’t find in the private hospital environment. To me, this is a very interesting transition to make.’
Dr Timakia says he had the option to move to Netcare St Augustine Hospital in Berea, but chose to settle in Richards Bay.
He says his first working day at Melomed started ‘by chance’.
‘I was in the area by coincidence, just exploring the town, when I received a call from the ICU regarding a patient. The person calling had heard that I was around.
‘In my training, I have learned that it is never an inconvenience when it comes to patient care, and I went through to assess the patient.’
Soon after that, he was required to perform the newly opened hospital’s very first brain surgery.
‘Melomed has never seen a neurosurgical case before, so it was a new experience for all the staff.
‘The procedure took longer than usual because I had to take them through all the steps.
‘But everyone was eager – and interested – and it was a beneficial process for all involved.
While it is unfortunately, not always possible to produce ‘rainbow results’ owing to the nature of the brain condition or injury, neurosurgery can be an inestimable intervention, Dr Timakia says.
‘Many people are fearful of neurological procedures and conditions, mainly because of the uncertainty associated with it,’ he explains.
‘The brain and the spine are unforgiving, but that creates a healthy fear which makes us aware of the risks and helps us to tread more carefully in our clinical practice and decision making.
‘People tend to wait before seeking medical help for brain conditions, but sometimes waiting could make the problem worse, possibly irreversible.
‘With the brain and spine, it is essential to have an early assessment and to formulate a management plan for the patient. At times, however, a timeous intervention is crucial and waiting is not the best option,’ he explains.
Dr Timakia’s long-term plan is a combined endeavour with a spinal specialist to establish a Zululand spine service.
This is welcome news for local residents, who would now have the option of local neurosurgical and combined spine care and who would no longer need to travel to Durban for such medical treatment.
Dr Kritish Timakia