Dr Richard Friedland

The Netcare Group, which has had a multi-disciplinary task team in place since the Corona virus outbreak was announced in China in January, is now setting up a number of additional precautionary safeguards to protect all patients, visitors, staff members, doctors, healthcare and other service providers in its facilities.

In a media statement released today, CEO Dr Richard Friedland explains that this includes all Netcare hospitals and Medicross medical and dental centres, Akeso mental health hospitals, National Renal Care dialysis units, Netcare Cancer centres and Netcare 911

“We have closely cooperated with the National Institute for Communicable Diseases [NICD] and the Department of Health [DoH] on an ongoing basis, and have aligned our clinical protocols for managing COVID-19 patients with their clinical guidelines,” Friedland adds.

“We have also implemented comprehensive measures to detect, identify and respond appropriately to any suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 at any of our Group’s facilities.”

Measures implemented with immediate effect include: 

  • Ensuring that every person entering our facilities clean their hands.
  • Ensuring that all persons entering facilities are verbally screened for COVID-19 risk at the main points of entry as a first line of defence, and do further screening where indicated.
  • Gazebos or tents are being erected at entrances to emergency departments and main hospital entrances, where staff members will conduct the screening. 
  • At facilities with multiple entrances, some entrances may be closed to ensure adherence to hand cleaning and screening.
  • Deploying ultraviolet (UV) light disinfection robots in those hospitals that do not as yet have their own, as soon as possible. These mobile robots have been proven to be extremely effective in identifying and destroying viruses, bacteria and fungal spores. 
  • Restricting visiting times in hospitals and the number of visitors allowed to visit a patient at a time. Management at the facilities where visiting applies will provide further information to patients and visitors.
  • Daily screening of all staff, including personnel of external service providers in all areas of the business.
  • Making credible information on COVID-19 available to patients and visitors, as well as to the public.

SOURCE: MNA Public Relations on behalf of Netcare Group