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International Nurses Day 12 May 2018

Message from CEO and MD of the Netcare Group

Monday, May 14 2018

  • Message to nurses from Dr Richard Friedland, CEO of the Netcare Group. Click here
  • Message to nurses from Jacques du Plessis, MD of Netcare’s Hospital Division. Click here
  • Message to nurses from Shannon Nell, Director of Nursing and Nursing Education at Netcare. Click here
  • Message to nurses from Dr Billyy van der Merwe, MD of Netcare’s Primary Care Division and Hanli Oosthuizen, National Nursing Manager at Medicross. Click here
  • Netcare salutes nurses who touch countless lives with their care – on and off duty. Click here
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Interact with Netcare at the Durban MamaMagic: The Baby Expo and stand a chance to win

Netcare hospital stand No39 at MamaMagic: The Baby Expo

Thursday, August 17 2017

Netcare KwaZulu-Natal hospitals will once again be making waves at this year’s MamaMagic: The Baby Expo to be held at the Durban Exhibition Centre from 25 to 27 August 2017.

“There are a number of factors that expectant parents should consider when deciding at which hospital they would like to deliver their baby. We look forward to welcoming parents-to-be to the Netcare hospitals’ stand – number B9 – at MamaMagic: The Baby Expo, and discussing the maternity facilities and services offered at our KwaZulu-Natal hospitals with them,” says Craig Murphy, regional director of Netcare’s coastal region.

“This year, we are taking the opportunity presented by MamaMagic: The Baby Expo to educate parents on the correct way of performing CPR on babies and young children respectively. The marketing team at the Netcare KwaZulu-Natal hospitals’ stand will hand out free pamphlets detailing the cardiopulmonary resuscitation [CPR] techniques appropriate for use on infants and young children in emergency situations, as these differ from the technique used on adults. These easy-to-follow, step-by-step guides provide the ABC’s of CPR.

“It is our hope that the knowledge gleaned from the pamphlets will help parents to be better equipped to deal with a medical emergency, should the need ever arise.” Murphy explained.

Also exciting is a competition, with great prizes for mothers and babies alike, that Netcare will be running at the exposition. The prizes include a pregnancy photo shoot valued at over R4 200, a voucher for Mangwanani Spa to the value of R1 200 and a supply of nappies to the value of R5 000. Exposition visitors are encouraged to simply visit the Netcare stand, answer an easy question and fill in their contact details, which qualifies them to be in line to win one of these amazing prizes.

“Expectant parents in the province are spoiled for choice with our extensive KwaZulu-Natal footprint of maternity facilities. Visitors to the stand will also receive an informative brochure about the maternity offerings at Netcare Alberlito [in Ballito], Netcare St Augustine’s [in Durban], Netcare St Anne’s [in Pietermaritzburg], Netcare Kingsway [in Amanzimtoti], Netcare Margate [Margate], Netcare Parklands [in Overport, Durban], Netcare The Bay [in Richards Bay] and Netcare uMhlanga [in uMhlanga] hospitals,” Murphy concluded.


Issued by:    Martina Nicholson Associates (MNA) on behalf of Netcare KwaZulu-Natal hospitals
Contact:    Martina Nicholson, Graeme Swinney, or Meggan Saville
Telephone:    (011) 469 3016
Email:    martina@mnapr.co.za, graeme@mnapr.co.za or meggan@mnapr.co.za


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Rusty the Rhino brings fun healthy foods to Netcare paediatric patients

Bravery certificates, colouring in and playful crockery aim to cheer young patients

Thursday, June 22 2017

An innovative paediatric catering programme is being officially launched at Netcare Unitas Hospital with celebrity chef and father-of-two, Rueben Riffel.

The ‘Rusty the Rhino’ programme, developed by the Compass Group and Medirest, Netcare’s catering service supplier, will be introduced at all Netcare hospitals with paediatric wards countrywide.

Pic: ('Rusty the Rhino' gives Thapelo Maila a high five at the national launch of a new paediatric catering programme at Netcare Unitas Hospital.)

“The programme heralds a new approach to paediatric catering in that the enticing menus offer nutritious meals designed to appeal to junior palates while the friendly rhinoceros character is expected to make the hospital experience more pleasant for children,” says Jacques du Plessis, managing director of Netcare’s hospital division.

“When children are admitted to hospital they invariably feel anxious about being away from home. At Netcare hospitals we strive to make our paediatric wards a welcoming environment for our young patients. In our experience, children who are unwell and are in the unfamiliar surroundings of a healthcare facility often require a little extra coaxing to encourage them to eat, as maintaining good nutrition is a very important part of their recovery process,” explains Du Plessis.

The Rusty the Rhino programme is initially being introduced at Netcare N17, Netcare Ferncrest, Netcare Krugersdorp, Netcare Linksfield, and Netcare Unitas hospitals. Next month Rusty will arrive at Netcare Olivedale Hospital and will be available at other Netcare hospitals with paediatric wards soon thereafter. Celebrity chef Reuben Riffel, who is an ambassador for Medirest, says that he is delighted to be involved in the launch of this exciting new children’s programme at Netcare hospitals.

“I have always been passionate about good food, as it is such an integral part of our daily lives and can enhance almost any experience. Being a father myself, I know that children are often very particular about which foods they are prepared to try,” he notes. “Rusty the Rhino brings a new element of fun to meal times for children in hospital. Presentation of food is extremely important, and the meals will be served on trays and crockery decorated with Rusty the Rhino’s smiling face. The age-specific menus are designed to be healthy yet enticing for children and include ‘kiddie favourites’ with a wholesome yet tasty twist,” Riffel explains.

Rusty the Rhino, the mascot for an innovative paediatric catering programme being introduced at Netcare hospitals, and celebrity chef Reuben Riffel bring smiles to the faces of young patients, Amanda Sumbane and Jay-Tee Gaoseb at Netcare Unitas Hospital during the national launch of the programme.

“The rhinoceros was chosen for the programme because children in South Africa know and identify with a rhinoceros,” says Dolf Smook, general manager of Medirest.  “At the same time the rhinoceros character also aims to foster an interest in this endangered species and promote conservation consciousness in the young patients.”

Smook says that to add to the excitement of mealtimes, meals will be served by staff members wearing Rusty the Rhino branded aprons and caps. As part of the programme, young patients will receive special Star Award stickers as reward for taking their medicine and eating their meals. Rusty the Rhino colouring in materials and other fun activities are part of the programme to keep children entertained while in hospital. On their discharge, each child will also receive a ‘bravery award’ certificate.  

 “We are extremely pleased to welcome Rusty the Rhino with his big smile in our hospitals. We look forward to seeing the smiles of our young patients as they enjoy the special children’s menus and fun activities during their stay at Netcare hospitals,” Du Plessis concluded.


Issued by:    Martina Nicholson Associates (MNA) on behalf of Netcare Hospital Division
Contact:    Martina Nicholson, Graeme Swinney, or Meggan Saville
Telephone:    (011) 469 3016
Email:    martina@mnapr.co.za, graeme@mnapr.co.za or meggan@mnapr.co.za

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Invitation to visit Netcare’s at stand C21 at MamaMagic, the baby expo
Thursday, May 18 2017
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Special messages to Netcare Group nurses on International Nurses Day

Follow the links to view videos

Friday, May 12 2017
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A tribute to Professor Christiaan Barnard by Netcare

Follow the link to view the tribute to Professor Christiaan Barnard by Netcare

Wednesday, March 1 2017
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Clicks opens pharmacy front shops in Netcare hospitals.
Wednesday, February 1 2017

Netcare is bringing you more convenience by introducing Clicks stores at each pharmacy located in Netcare Hospitals countrywide.


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Guide to exhibition at Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital

With special thanks to Richard Friedland for his passionate and meticulous dedication in bringing this exhibition to fruition and with gratitude to the late Jeremy Rose...

Wednesday, February 1 2017

With special thanks to Richard Friedland for his passionate and meticulous dedication in bringing this exhibition to fruition and with gratitude to the late Jeremy Rose, whose expert curatorial involvement provided the elegant conceptual seed from which this exhibition grew.

Professor Christiaan Barnard achieved international fame for expanding the boundaries of medicine. Barnard was not only committed to furthering medical science, he was also deeply committed to patient care.

In this exhibition Netcare honours Barnard the man, and pays tribute to the principles he stood for: science in service of humanity, and patient care in service of the individual. This exhibition is also for all the unsung champions of the healthcare profession.

Those who dedicate their lives to these principles; serving the health and wellbeing of the individual to make our world a better place. The Netcare Christiaan Barnard Hospital was opened on 3 December 2016, the 49th anniversary of the world’s first human heart transplant.


Commemorative issue: South African Medical Journal 30 December 1967 special edition: Human Heart Transplantation
3 December 2016
Forty-nine years ago today, Professor Christiaan Barnard led a team of medical pioneers in performing the world’s first human heart transplant at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town. Together, they pushed the boundaries of science and put South African medicine on the world stage.
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Prostate Artery Embolization Symposium
Wednesday, January 25 2017

13 CPD points (9 clinical and 4 ethical)

PAE – Stay abreast of management options for benign prostate hypertrophy.Netcare Sunninghill Hospital will be hosting the first comprehensive symposium on PAE in Africa.
Meet the leaders in the field to discuss patient selection, pre-operative work-up, procedural aspects and complication profiles.

This unique symposium offers:

  • Two live cases performed by leading experts
  • An in-depth review of different aspects of PAE
  • Case-based discussions
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Specialist team separate conjoined twins at Centurion hospital

Paediatric surgeons optimistic for twins’ future

Monday, January 23 2017

A pair of conjoined twins from Big Bend in Swaziland today underwent a successful six-hour separation operation at Netcare Unitas Hospital in Centurion, Gauteng. 

The twin girls, Uwenzile and Uyihlelile Shilongonyane, who together weighed 4.21 kilograms at birth, were born joined at the abdomen on 2 January to 19-year-old Bongekile Simelane and her husband Mbongeni Sihlongonyane.

Pic: Conjoined twins, Uwenzile and Uyihlelile Shilongonyane born joined at the abdomen on 2 January this year, with their mother 19-year-old Bongekile Simelane, minutes before they underwent their separation surgery at Netcare Unitas Hospital in Centurion.

Speaking ahead of the procedure, paediatric surgeons Dr Mariza de Villiers and Dr Paul Stevens agreed that the twins had a good prognosis. “This type of conjoined twins are known as omphalopagus twins, which means they were joined at the lower abdomen and do not share a heart,” they noted.

“Pre-operative assessments indicated that the babies also did not share any other vital organs. This considerably improved their chances of surviving the surgical separation and will also contribute greatly to them leading healthy lives going forward,” said Dr De Villiers.

The Shilongonyane girls are the second set of conjoined twins that Drs De Villiers and Dr Stevens have separated, and are the first to have their separation surgery done at Netcare Unitas Hospital. The paediatric surgeons were assisted by Dr Francisca Van Der Schyff and Dr Kagiso Batka.

Proud parents Bongekile Simelane and Mbongeni Sihlongonyane photographed with paediatric surgeons Dr Mariza de Villiers and Dr Paul Stevens who led the surgical team at Netcare Unitas Hospital in Centurion this morning.

The two gorgeous little girls, Uwenzile and Uyihlelile Shilongonyane, being prepared for separation surgery today at Netcare Unitas Hospital in Centurion.


Dr De Villiers said that the twins were joined only by a bridge of skin, which made the operation simpler than if they shared vital organs. “There are always considerable risks when separating conjoined twins, but we have been cautiously optimistic all along that the operation would have a good outcome for both twins,” she observed.

“The fact that there was a skin bridge between them, meant that there was sufficient skin to close the resultant surgical wound on each baby without the need for plastic surgery.”

According to Dr Stevens one of the main challenges the surgical team anticipated ahead of the procedure, related to the anaesthesia. “The twins were conjoined in such as way that they are facing each other. Intubation for such tiny babies is delicate enough, but as their faces are so close to one another and they are not able to be placed on their backs to be intubated for anaesthesia, this was a great deal more complicated than usual.”

As a result, four anaesthetists participated in the procedure, with each twin being cared for by two anaesthetists for the duration of the surgery. The doctors worked in two distinct teams, identified by their pink and purple surgical scrub caps. The all-female team of anaesthetists consisted of Dr Henrika Rossouw, Dr Sandra Spijkerman, Dr Marleen Odendaal and Dr Jeanri Smith. The little patients were matched to their team by wearing corresponding colours and were connected to their own, colour-coded anaesthetic machine.

The initial stage of the procedure, which was dedicated to getting the anaesthetic just right for the surgery, took more than three hours, which meant that it took almost half of the total theatre time. The twins were officially separated at noon today and the rest of the surgery was completed just before 14h00 this afternoon. ”

The all-female team of anaesthetists: Dr Henrika Rossouw, Dr Sandra Spijkerman, Dr Marleen Odendaal and Dr Jeanri Smith, who were tasked with one of the greatest challenges faced by the surgical team who separated conjoined twins, Uwenzile and Uyihlelile Shilongonyane. The twins were conjoined in such as way that they were facing each other, making the delicate task of intubating the little babies a great deal more complicated than usual.

A study in soulful concentration as Dr Henrika Rossouw prepares baby, Uyihlelile Shilongonyane for anaesthesia.


Uwenzile and Uyihlelile were born by caesarean section. Bongkile and Mbongeni are also parents to twin boys aged two. According to Bongkile until the seventh month of her pregnancy she had no idea that she was about to give birth to a second set of twins. “At first I was not happy to hear that I was expecting twins for the second time,” she recalls. “However, once they were born everything changed. After their birth I was at first not worried as I thought the babies were only attached at the umbilical cord.”

“I love my babies so much,” said a tearful and nervous Bongkile as the babies were taken into theatre.

The young couple drew considerable strength from Portia Mabuela, an enrolled nurse at Netcare Unitas Hospital, who has become very close to the family. Even though she was off duty, Portia came in specially to be with the family during this challenging time. “Bongkile was concerned about the well-being of their babies, especially as she could not be with them in theatre and was unable to feed them as per their normal feeding schedule,” said Mabuela.

“We are all so impressed with the ease with which this young mother has been handling her conjoined babies, considering the difficulty in doing something as basic as picking them up,” commented general manager of Netcare Unitas Hospital, Robert Jordaan.

“The operation involved a team of eight doctors and a theatre team of 11 nursing professionals. Most of the team members were women,” he added.

“This is a proud moment for Netcare Unitas Hospital and especially for our team of expert doctors and nurses who participated in this operation. What happened here today represents a milestone in the medical history of our facility.”



Issued by:    Martina Nicholson Associates (MNA) on behalf of Netcare Unitas Hospital
Contact:    Martina Nicholson, Graeme Swinney, Meggan Saville, or Pieter Rossouw
Telephone:    (011) 469 3016
Email:    martina@mnapr.co.za, graeme@mnapr.co.za, meggan@mnapr.co.za, or pieter@mnapr.co.za

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