‘An angel in action’ at hospital frontline

Thursday, September 1 2022

If you are visiting Netcare Rosebank Hospital you may have the chance to see an angel in action. Here, in the radiology unit, there is a person providing special attention to each and every patient seeking care.

From a broken bone to diagnosing a condition, a little extra TLC makes all the difference and cometh the hour, cometh the man. His name is Calvin Franklin – an unassuming gentleman manning the reception desk and ensuring that the needs of each patient are swiftly attended to.

On any ordinary weekday, the reception area is busy but Calvin balances efficiency and courtesy with ease, welcoming each patient warmly and helping with the documents that need to be filled in.

Pic: Journalist Sonnette Lombaard, pictured with receptionist Calvin Franklin from Netcare Rosebank Hospital’s radiology department whom she soon realised is a person who understands that his job is crucial in offering a personal human touch.
Pic: Calvin Franklin, having worked for Netcare his entire working life, says “The Netcareway really is the only way I know and going to work every day in a hospital gives me joy.”


“Writing down your details is not an easy task when your wrist is broken and your arm is in pain, as was the case with me when I was rushed to Netcare Rosebank Hospital recently,” says journalist Sonnette Lombaard.

“But Calvin remained calm and collected and when I was unable to present all the required documentation, he offered his email address so that I could provide it at a less stressful time. Throughout the entire administrative process, he conducted a welcoming conversation while remaining professional.”

Lombaard says she soon realised that she had found a rare gem behind the counter – a person who understands that his job is crucial in offering a personal human touch, being the first point of contact in the radiology unit for people in stressful situations.

Once she was seated in the front row, Lombaard could see that Calvin’s special brand of charm extended to his interaction with each patient and that the sense of appreciation in the room was palpable, as most visitors came back to say goodbye to him when they were done with their x-rays.

“Calvin remembered each person’s reason for being there and asked with compassion about their condition. At one stage, a former patient arrived to introduce Calvin to a friend who was scheduled for x-rays in the next few days,” she recalls.

Calvin made such an impression on Lombaard that she enquired about his background. Calvin was born on 27 August 1992 in the Free State town of Sasolburg. Grappling with ill health since early childhood, he got to know the insides of hospitals up close and personal from an early stage.

“I had a nasty infection as an infant, which seriously affected the growth of my left leg, among other things.” But as is the case with many others who have risen through Netcare’s ranks, he was determined that his health problems would not stop him from becoming a well rounded human being.

The Integrated Reporting and Assurance Services (IRAS) in partnership with the National Council of and for Persons with Disabilities (NCPD), recently recognised Netcare for having the highest rate of persons with disabilities employed among JSE listed companies exceeding 10 000 staff members.

At the time of receiving the accolade, Sanjay Khoosal, Netcare’s head of people development and employment equity, said "the Group is grateful for this opportunity to highlight the significant contribution made daily by our 777 colleagues who are persons with disabilities. These highly valued colleagues represent 4.03% of our total workforce.”

Calvin believes his daily duties are a special calling. “During my childhood, our neighbours in Sasolburg were a retired couple. The lady used to be a nurse who worked with my late grandmother at Netcare Pretoria East Hospital, and her granddaughter worked at Netcare Vaalpark Hospital.

“The granddaughter helped me to land my first job at that hospital and soon I started to navigate the healthcare sector. I was like a sponge and absorbed all the knowledge available.”

After gaining experience in several positions at Netcare Vaalpark Hospital, Calvin continued to experience professional growth at a number of other Netcare hospitals including Netcare Mulbarton and Netcare Sunninghill hospitals, before joining the team at Netcare Rosebank Hospital.

“Ironically my first experience at Netcare Sunninghill Hospital was as a patient, where I had surgery but I ended up working there for almost seven years. Just as the medical field helped me, I ended up working in the same industry, helping others.”

On 1 April this year, Calvin started working at Netcare Rosebank Hospital’s radiology department, where his role includes meeting and greeting patients, answering phones, obtaining authorisations for procedures, and capturing patient information as well as procedure and physician details, among other duties.

Tendai Makwabarara, hospital manager at Netcare Rosebank Hospital says that the ethos of care is a core Netcare value. “It is our privilege to assist those who are ill in their time of need, and within this context being in touch with the emotional needs of our patients is what compassionate and person centred care is all about.”

How does Calvin keep compassion and empathy in an environment filled with people who are often in pain and who can, at times, be anxious and demanding?

“The first thing I always tell myself is that the situation is always more difficult for the other person. If I am going to spend 90% of my time at work, I have to make it count. So I come to work for the patients. Through attention to detail I know which patients can drain your energy. The most demanding patients are often the most complimentary later on… the important thing is to do your job properly at all times. I see it as a privilege that my job has given me the opportunity to engage with people from all walks of life.”

Calvin strongly believes that going the extra mile puts patients at ease “I do everything I can to ensure that the patient has the best possible experience while in my unit. If my job is done properly, it makes the experience that much easier and less stressful for everyone involved.”

Having worked for Netcare his entire working life where he learned everything he knows, Calvin was – on more than one occasion – approached during his time as a Netcare Sunninghill Hospital staff member with offers of new opportunities, the most recent of which he could not refuse.

“I was headhunted by Rosebank Radiology, which is a service provider at Netcare Rosebank Hospital, so I am still working within a Netcare environment where I am happiest. The Netcare way really is the only way I know and going to work every day in a hospital gives me joy.

While Calvin believes he has found his true calling, his childhood dream was to be a musician and to this day he remains enthusiastic about opera, a field in which his expert knowledge demands respect. “As a youngster, I aspired to become a conductor. I had an absolute passion for music and still have.”

In his time away from work, Calvin is a dedicated family man who loves spending time with his wife Leandri, their two-year-old son O’Neill and a family member’s teenage daughter who is in their care.

“When a patient enters the doors to our hospital, it is people like Calvin who meet and exceed their needs and embody the person centred care that we stand for. They make all the difference. We are grateful that people of his calibre are at the heart of the healthcare service we strive to provide,” concludes Makwabarara.


Notes to editor
Looking for a medical appointment? Netcare appointmed™ will make appointments for YOU with specialists practising at Netcare hospitals, GPs and dentists at Medicross medical and dental centres, and specialists at Akeso mental health facilities. Simply request an appointment online at or phone Netcare appointmed™ on 0860 555 565, Mondays to Fridays between 08:00 and 17:00.
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For media enquiries, contact MNA at the contact details listed below.

Issued by:            MNA on behalf of Netcare Rosebank Hospital
For media enquiries contact:    Martina Nicholson, Meggan Saville, Estene Lotriet-Vorster and Clementine Forsthofer
Telephone:                (011) 469 3016
Email:    [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] [email protected] or [email protected]