Hospitals on Garden Route prepare for surge in Covid-19 cases


On November 27, Business Day reported that private hospital groups are scrambling to put plans in place to cope with the sharp rise in coronavirus cases on the Western Cape’s Garden Route. The Western Cape health department signed a deal with private healthcare providers earlier to enable state patients to be referred to private facilities should the need arise, but has so far not needed to do so.

According to Western Cape head of health Keith Cloete hospital admissions were three times higher on theGarden Route than they had been on November 1, and that George and Knysna recorded their highest number of new Covid-19 cases to date on November 23, exceeding the peak of the first coronavirus wave in late July.

Both Mediclinic International and Life Healthcare, which between them operate five private hospitals in the region, said they were approaching maximum capacity for Covid-19 patients. Mediclinic has sent extra nurses and medical equipment to its hospitals in George, Oudtshoorn and Plettenberg Bay. Life Healthcare regional manager Riaan Croupcamp said the numbers change “almost hourly” and hospital managers are in constant contact with one another.

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