According to Hospital general Manager, Carol van Zyl, this partnership is focused on the need for specialist medical care specifically pertaining to the disciplines of orthopaedic surgery and rheumatology. “There is a mistaken impression among South Africans that they need to travel overseas for high-level specialist care. We want to reassure our patients that this care and specialisation is available locally,” said Carol.

Management and staff from Mediclinic Winelands Orthopaedic Hospital in Stellenbosch.

Van Zyl explained, “Mediclinic Winelands Orthopaedic Hospital will provide the infrastructure, experience and resources, which will in turn allow the IOR to realise their goals of improved clinical specialist care. We envision a process whereby our approach can be systematically improved through the value provided by both parties, leading to improved overall patient care. This is definitely a first for Mediclinic and we are very excited about the opportunities this collaboration presents.”

“The hospital will provide the platform for world-class South African specialists and key opinion leaders to practice at the highest possible level and quality of care. It will also function as a training facility both for specialists from around the globe through formal accredited fellowship programmes and shorter visiting fellowships (these are usually two weeks vs 12 months for formal fellowships) as well as registrar training in collaboration with Stellenbosch University and of highly skilled theatre and ward staff,” explained Dr Holger Wellmann, CEO of the Institute of Orthopaedics and Rheumatology.According to Dr Wellmann, the IOR is envisioned as a specialist institute, dedicated to surgical and medical management as well as rehabilitation of non-emergency musculoskeletal conditions, at the highest possible level.

“The unit will be able to compete in the global arena of specialist musculoskeletal surgery and care. Ultimately, we are hoping to achieve better clinical outcomes for our patients. Having the super-specialist surgeons on board is expected to improve selection of surgical procedures, reduce the complication and surgical revision rates that may be found in normal elective surgical interventions. We see the quality of care as well as clinical outcomes as important measures of success for the partnership,” said Van Zyl.

Institute of Orthopaedics and Rheumatology specialist team front row left to right: Dr Tinus Scheepers, Dr Minette du Preez, Dr Johard Beukes(Hospital Clinical Manager), Prof Helmuth Reuter, Dr Pieter (Spike) Erasmus, Ms carol van Zyl (Hospital general Manager). Back row from left to right: Dr Ed Dillon, Dr Jan Joubert, Dr Willem Prinsloo, Dr Dawid Burger, Dr Gerhard Pienaar, Dr Gareth Tarr and Dr Holger Wellman (CEO: IOR).

For patients in Mediclinic Winelands Orthopaedic Hospital, this means “A multi-disciplinary approach, involving all stakeholders from the outset of treatment, which allows for more detailed treatment planning, supporting improved outcomes. Surgeons meeting with Rheumatologists/Physicians, Anaesthetists, nursing staff, rehabilitation personnel and case managers, prior to undertaking a surgical procedure, will greatly improve cohesion in efforts and insights into specific problems that may arise.”

“This is the first step in ensuring better and more cost-effective outcomes, as there is a vested interest in all participating doctors to collaborate and find more efficient pathways and solutions,” Dr Wellmann explained. He also highlights that a team is always superior to an individual, especially when the team is multi-disciplinary. “All our doctors are sub-specialised, covering all areas of orthopaedics, rheumatology, supported by radiologists and other health professionals focused on the musculoskeletal system.”

With teaching being one of the fundamental principles of the IOR, Mediclinic Winelands Orthopaedic Hospital will host academic events and training as an integral part of activities. IOR will serve as a training facility for the best and brightest young South African medical professionals in the field of orthopaedic surgery, rheumatology and radiology.

Dr Wellmann elaborated on the focus on research and learning. “Our doctors are committed to actively participating in ongoing research and peer reviews in order to develop and advance skills and knowledge. We will also employ a post-doc research consultant to facilitate and co-ordinate all research and capturing of data.

Data capturing and analysis as well as quality control is enshrined in the daily processes of IOR in order to actively contribute to medical science research and monitor outcomes. “We have a section 18A fund; Joint Venture Trust, which supports joint replacements of patients selected from Tygerberg Hospital, who are predominantly from our area. It is also our aim to assist local sportsmen/women without funds and support Stellenbosch public hospital with orthopaedic and rheumatological ventures.”

Patients are already being referred to the facility from across the country. It is located on the same premises as the original Mediclinic Stellenbosch, situated at Die Boord.

Staff at Mediclinic Winelands Orthopaedic Hospital

From left to right: The CEO of the Institute of Orthopaedics and Rheumatology (IOR), Dr Holger Wellman and the Hospital general manager of Mediclinic Winelands Orthopaedic Hospital, Ms Carol van Zyl.

NEW LEVEL OF EXPERTISE

This world-class expertise is available to South Africans, eliminating the need to travel internationally to receive high-level specialist care. Mediclinic Winelands Orthopaedic Hospital initially offers 33 beds with potential for further expansion in time.

The facilities include 27 adult orthopaedic beds, two paediatric beds, three high care and one ICU bed. The four theatres are divided into three major and one minor theatre. Radiology and pharmacy will also be available at the hospital. Alterations and improvements to the current facility have begun and are expected to be completed with a 10-bed day clinic towards the end of 2020.

“We see the opening of Mediclinic Winelands Orthopaedic Hospital as a measure of our strong commitment to quality care and innovation in the industry. We understand that quality healthcare means investing in new technology that promotes better outcomes and in training the best possible nurses to deliver quality care.

These are all areas that Mediclinic sees as key to maintaining our position as a leading healthcare provider in South Africa,” said Koert Pretorius, CEO of Mediclinic Southern Africa. “The hospital will provide the platform for world-class South African specialists and key opinion leaders to practice to the highest possible level and quality of care.

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