Emergency medical supplies flown in, police escorts for oxygen tankers

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The Money Show hears about the impact of ongoing public violence on Netcare hospitals in KZN and GP from CEO Dr Richard Friedland.

Already under pressure from the rise in Covid-19 infections, some hospitals in South Africa are now having to deal with the fallout from ongoing public violence in parts of the country.

RELATED: “Tense Battles Between Police and Looters Continue”

Eyewitness News reported Tuesday afternoon that Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Gauteng (the country’s largest) was treating 180 trauma cases at last count, triple the average number.

On Monday, the vaccination centers in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal were asked to close due to continuing unrest in the two provinces.

And protesters’ disruption of drug and oxygen supply routes means life or death for critically ill patients.

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Bruce Whitfield speaks with Netcare CEO Dr Richard Friedland about the impact on the group’s hospitals.

The situation has impacted our ability to provide care and services especially in KwaZulu-Natal and less in Gauteng. We obviously had to make sure our staff were safe and that we didn’t compromise patient care …

Richard Friedland, CEO – Netcare

In KwaZulu-Natal, drug supply lines have been severely affected, Friedland says.

Today our main supplier of pharmaceuticals saw their distribution center looted so we had to steal emergency supplies in the late afternoon and will continue to do so …

Richard Friedland, CEO – Netcare

Oxygen has been a concern for us but luckily we now have police escorts accompanying the oxygen tankers in our various hospitals …

Richard Friedland, CEO – Netcare

We are also treating a lot of trauma patients right now. We have seen over 30 patients with gunshot wounds and this afternoon we sent a team of eight trauma nurses just to help our emergency services as they are clearly dealing with Covid cases as well.

Richard Friedland, CEO – Netcare

Friedland also provides an update on the number of Covid patients admitted to Netcare hospitals.

While the number of positive tests has dropped significantly in Gauteng, a drop in hospitalizations will only be seen in about two weeks.

The lockdown appears to flatten the curve in both the Western and Eastern Cape, he says.

For more details, listen to the interview below:


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