NEW UNIT BRINGS HOPE TO CAN­CER PA­TIENTS

R25-mil­lion goes to­wards new ac­cel­er­a­tor at South­ern­wood on­col­ogy fa­cil­ity

Daily Dispatch - - FRONT PAGE - NONSINDISO QWABE non­sindisoq@dis­patch.co.za

Col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween pri­vate and pub­lic health­care may have been in­con­ceiv­able a few years ago.

But on Tues­day, pro­fes­sion­als in the field of on­col­ogy from both sec­tors in East Lon­don came to­gether to cel­e­brate their suc­cess­ful can­cer health­care part­ner­ship and mark the re­open­ing of the re­vamped Equra Health ra­di­a­tion ther­apy unit for pri­vate health pa­tients.

Equra Health is an or­gan­i­sa­tion giv­ing ra­di­a­tion on­col­ogy to pri­vate can­cer pa­tients in East Lon­don. It is based at the CancerCare Bor­der On­col­ogy Cen­tre in South­ern­wood.

Med­i­cal Spe­cial­ist Hold­ings CEO Dr Jac­ques Syn­man said more than R25-mil­lion was spent on the new ac­cel­er­a­tor and its in­stal­la­tion, as well as other up­grades to the unit.

The unit closed its doors six months ago to up­grade and ex­tend its premises and ma­chines. Dur­ing its clo­sure, pri­vate health­care pa­tients who were re­ceiv­ing ra­di­a­tion at the unit moved to Frere Hospi­tal’s on­col­ogy ward to con­tinue with the treat­ment.

The new unit now has more move­ment space, a wall mu­ral and mu­sic speak­ers. The unit ac­quired a new state-of-the-art ra­di­a­tion ther­apy lin­ear ac­cel­er­a­tor that al­lows for more high­end treat­ment pro­ce­dures.

Sny­man said in­vest­ments made to­wards im­prov­ing on­col­ogy treat­ment ser­vices for pa­tients should be a “mo­ral and ethic duty” in health­care ser­vice de­liv­ery.

“We’re con­stantly work­ing to give pa­tients qual­ity ac­cess to on­col­ogy care. We strive to mea­sure the qual­ity of our ser­vices in or­der to mea­sure whether pa­tients are get­ting the best care, at the best price, at the best time. It is there­fore a great priv­i­lege for us to open this new big in­vest­ment,” Sny­man said.

“I’d also like to thank Frere for giv­ing us ac­cess to their ma­chines. There is a strange di­vide be­tween pub­lic and pri­vate care, and I am happy that we were able to come to­gether seam­lessly to ensure that pa­tients con­tin­ued to re­ceive treat­ment.”

Frere Hospi­tal CEO Ro­lene Wag­ner said: “A few years ago peo­ple may have not con­ceived of col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween pub­lic and pri­vate care. We as Frere are priv­i­leged to have been part of this jour­ney. The move to­wards the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Na­tional Health In­surance scheme is an area of un­cer­tainty, but it has been ex­cit­ing in that we’ve proven if we have a com­mon pur­pose we can work to­gether to ren­der a con­ti­nu­ity of care in a seam­less way.”

If we have a com­mon pur­pose we can work to­gether

Pic­ture: THOKO MDLALOSE

ALL SET UP: Equra Health man­ager Michelle Martin shows the new lin­ear ac­cel­er­a­tor ra­di­a­tion ther­apy ma­chine.

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