New name, new focus for hospital

28 October 2002
THE former UCT Medical Centre that was bought in August by a consortium comprising Westcare Hospitals, UCT and a group of academic clinicians, has been officially renamed UCT Private Academic Hospital.

Commenting on the facility's new name and logo, managing director Riël du Toit said the changes signified a “decisive turning point” for the hospital. “The development is part of the new hospital's management strategy to make a meaningful difference in healthcare delivery,” he explained.

Du Toit said that the hospital's new name and logo better reflected its new focus, namely, to provide a “unique blend of medical and academic excellence with private vision in healthcare”.

“As a private hospital it offers all the associated benefits. At the same time, as an academic hospital this facility, and all the services it renders, are research-driven and evidence-based. All the ingredients are here: academic brilliance and medical skills. We're providing a catalyst to make these more easily available to all South Africans.” From an academic and research perspective, UCT's medical students and registrars will benefit directly from the hospital's training facilities.

Hospital Director Dr Mark Mills said that one of the institution's long-term goals was to become an integral part of the training facilities within the Health Sciences Faculty.

“This has important implications in the light of the recent health budget cuts that forced Groote Schuur Hospital (GSH) to cancel all non-emergency surgery. These budget constraints could limit training opportunities because some of the cases that medical students need exposure to can no longer be dealt with at GSH.”

Mills said that by accessing UCT Hospital's facilities and equipment, students would obtain “invaluable first-hand experience of working conditions in a private hospital while training at a state healthcare institution”.

UCT Hospital is also providing affordable ways for private and public healthcare partnerships to co-operate effectively by optimising existing synergies between GSH and Health Sciences. These steps include:
  • co-operative planning with GSH management to purchase and use expensive medical equipment and services;
  • facilitating Remunerated Work Outside the Public Sector (RWOPS);
  • assisting patients without medical aid cover by structuring fixed-fee “packages” for procedures such as joint replacements, heart bypass surgery, transplants and spinal surgery.

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