Annual integrated report 2011

Corporate social investment: SA

Netcare’s corporate social investment (CSI) programmes represent a considerable investment in South African communities.


Our CSI programmes focus on partnerships with communities and government, to help reduce poverty and improve access to quality healthcare in support of the Millennium Development Goals.

Ensuring a focused approach

Netcare’s approach to community development in SA is informed by national development priorities and the needs of communities, which are established through ongoing research and feedback from community members. All CSI programmes are aligned to Netcare’s long-term business objectives, in recognition of the importance of addressing broader social challenges.

Projects are carefully selected and managed to ensure that the resources allocated achieve clear objectives. Current focus areas include:

  • Indigent emergency medical services;
  • Healthcare accessibility initiatives;
  • Community health and welfare sponsorships; and
  • Academic sponsorships.
Netcare SA CSI spend at 30 September 2011
R million
Netcare SA CSI spend at 30 September 2011

CSI spend and pro bono services

During the year Netcare SA spent over R30 million (2010: R57 million) on CSI, which also includes cash contributions and pro bono health services. Of this total, R11 million (2010: R11 million) was spent on pre-hospital Netcare 911 emergency services. Netcare also contributed to Rescue South Africa for relief and emergency services for the victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan in 2011.

Providing emergency medical services to indigent patients

Netcare 911 provided free assistance to more than 6 400 indigent patients during the year. Accident and emergency units at Netcare hospitals continue to provide emergency care and stabilisation for patients with life threatening conditions who are unable to pay for these services. Following resuscitation, stabilisation and in many cases definitive care, patients are referred to a provincial facility. Patients who are too unstable to be moved are admitted to Netcare facilities. Due to the lack of beds at state facilities, many of these patients are cared for in Netcare facilities until transfer or discharge.

Initiatives to broaden access to healthcare

Netcare Vodacom Smiles for You programme: This joint initiative between Netcare and the Vodacom Foundation sponsors surgical procedures to repair cleft lip and palate deformities affecting economically disadvantaged patients. The programme originated at the Netcare Parklane Hospital. Today these operations are performed at Netcare Parklane, Netcare Sunninghill and Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial hospitals. The programme assisted 60 beneficiaries in 2011 (2010: 56).

Johannesburg Craniofacial programme: This joint initiative between Netcare and the Vodacom Foundation is based at the Netcare Sunninghill Hospital. It provides surgery to correct craniofacial disorders for indigent patients from SA and other African countries. During 2011, 16 operations were performed (2010: 15).

Netcare Vodacom Sight for You programme: Also funded jointly by Netcare and the Vodacom Foundation, this programme provides cataract procedures to elderly and economically disadvantaged patients. The programme has performed over 5 227 procedures since inception, and 952 procedures (2010: 694) in the year under review.

Hear for Life programme: Funded by Netcare, 94.7 Highveld Stereo and Bidvest, this initiative offers cochlear implant procedures to economically disadvantaged patients. The programme is currently based at the Netcare Linksfield Hospital’s Audiology Institute where patients benefit from expert treatment using the latest technology and facilities in audiology. During 2011, eight procedures (2010: six) were completed.

Walter Sisulu Paediatric Cardiac Foundation (WSPCF): Based at Netcare Sunninghill Hospital, the WSPCF is the largest paediatric cardiac unit in Africa. The WSPCF has sponsored 528 paediatric cardiac procedures since inception in 2003 for indigent patients from across the continent, with 128 performed in 2011. WSPCF sponsors cardiac operations at Netcare Sunninghill and Netcare Christiaan Barnard hospitals, the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital in Cape Town and Universitas Tertiary Hospital in Bloemfontein, and has a partnership with the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Hospital in Durban.

The WSPCF’s networks across Africa contribute to upskilling and transferring skills to medical personnel. Two doctors from Ghana have been undergoing observationships in paediatric cardiac surgery. Seven nurses from Ghana and seven nurses from Namibia are also benefiting from the Foundation’s upskilling programme.

Netcare Sexual Assault Centres: Operating within the accident and emergency units at almost all Netcare hospitals, the centres provide structured care for victims of sexual assault, free of charge. Netcare’s Sexual Assault Centres have been at the forefront of sexual assault care in SA. They have developed sound protocols for caring for survivors over the years, incorporating the principles of compassion, evidence collection, pregnancy prevention, post exposure prophylaxis, anti-retroviral (ARV) provision and psychological support.

These support services may continue for up to a year after the initial incident. A total of 863 (2010: 1 124) patients were given support during the year.

Organ Donor Foundation: Established to address the critical shortage of tissue and organ donors in SA through education and awareness campaigns, Netcare provides this not-for-profit organisation with support to help cover the costs of its toll-free line and office. Netcare also supports organ transplantation in the public sector by covering donor costs for organs allocated to the public sector.

Community health and welfare sponsorships

Habitat for Humanity South Africa brings people together to build homes, communities and hope. Together with Habitat for Humanity, over 1 500 Netcare volunteers built 15 houses for the community – five each in Orange Farm (Gauteng), Mfuleni (Western Cape) and Umgababa (KwaZulu-Natal).

Feed for Life, run by the South African Breastmilk Reserve (SABR), aims to promote breastfeeding and educate mothers about infant feeding options relevant to their socio-economic circumstances. Its main objectives are to decrease infant mortality and morbidity due to inadequate formula feeding, and prevent HIV infection through the avoidance of mixed feeding, breast-feeding and substitute feeding by HIV-positive mothers.

Netcare has established breast milk banks at eight of its hospitals. Breast milk is donated by willing donors who give birth at Netcare hospitals. It is banked at our Stork’s Nest clinics and distributed to public sector hospitals and clinics. In 2011, 964 babies benefited from breast milk donated by 402 mothers.

The Mother and Child Trust was established in terms of the Health Partners for Life (HPFL) initiative in 2005. In 2011, Netcare donated computer equipment to the Trust which in turn donated the equipment to the Lusikisiki Child Abuse Resource Centre (LUCARC) to set up a computer centre.

The Healthy Lifestyle Trust, also a HPFL initiative, funded sports tournaments involving students from disadvantaged schools in Ekurhuleni and Soweto in Gauteng Province and Lusikisiki in the Eastern Cape. Sports coordinators also underwent first aid training as part of an emergency care training programme.

Local community involvement by hospitals, emergency and trauma units and primary care units sought to address the needs of specific communities. These range in scope and include:

  • Providing pro bono treatment to children living in homes and orphanages as well as indigent, elderly and individual special cases;
  • Supporting homes, orphanages and medical facilities;
  • Volunteering the services of nurses, pharmacists and administrative staff as standby medical personnel at special events; and
  • Hosting CANSA Shave-a-thon events.

National Renal Care (NRC) continues to help create sustainable communities by finding solutions to meet local needs, and improving quality of life through programmes, partners and people. Initiatives and organisations supported during the year included:

  • Girls and Boys Town
  • Khotso Caritas Hospice Centre
  • Marang House
  • National Council for the Blind
  • My Acre of Africa
  • Kenya Relief Initiative

Community healthcare education is provided through open days held at hospitals and primary care facilities throughout the country, coinciding with the health calendar. These include:

  • Diabetes screening
  • Heart awareness
  • Breast cancer awareness
  • Malaria awareness
  • Eye health
  • Asthma testing
  • Cholesterol and hypertension screening
  • Pregnancy education

Academic sponsorships

The Physician Partnership Trust, established in terms of the HPFL initiative in 2005, set up the Hamilton Naki Scholarship in 2007. This scholarship is named in honour of the surgical assistant and technician who played an instrumental, but largely unrecognised, role in the first cardiac transplant in SA. He also helped train several hundred surgical registrars at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town. Three medical specialists have been funded to date to undergo doctoral studies in their chosen fields of medicine.

Netcare, in partnership with the Free State Premier is providing training to 100 nursing students in the province. The first group of 50 students started on the two-year Pupil Enrolled Nurse programme in May this year. A second group of 50 students started the one year Enrolled Nursing Auxiliary programme in September this year. These students are a unique group of individuals who will be a credit to the region and contribute to alleviating the general shortage in nursing.