Dedicated unit for the treatment of blood diseases and disorders opened in Johannesburg

New haematology unit offers world-class service to patients

Friday, April 12 2019

The first dedicated private haematology unit in greater Johannesburg for the diagnosis and treatment of the full range of acute and chronic blood cancers and other blood conditions in adults, has been opened at Netcare Olivedale Hospital in Randburg.

“The development of this unit fulfils the critical need for a dedicated, purpose-developed facility such as this within the area,” observes Jacques du Plessis, managing director of the Netcare hospital division.

“This is in line with international trends in haematology medicine which recognises that many patients with blood disorders greatly benefit from individualised management and care by a multi-disciplinary team at a properly equipped unit,” adds Du Plessis.

Pic: Pictured at the opening of the new Netcare Olivedale Hospital haematology unit were (from left): clinical haematologist and specialist physician, Dr Lucille S Singh; clinical haematologist and haematopathologist, Dr Karen Gunther; hospital general manager, Linda Bhagaloo; and clinical haematologist and specialist physician, Dr Philippa Ashmore.

Haematologist, Dr Karen Gunther who heads the unit, agrees and says that she and her two haematologist partners, Dr Lucille Singh and Dr Philippa Ashmore, are all “tremendously excited” to be introducing the new service and be involved in the development of the new facility.

“Many blood diseases, some of which would have been terminal 20 years ago, can today be cured or successfully managed with the new innovative therapies available. Centres around the world are able to achieve more accurate diagnoses and optimise treatment of haematological disorders, by using a range of treatment modalities including new drugs, stem cell transplantation, targeted treatments, immunotherapy and other treatment options,” adds Dr Gunther.

“There are currently dedicated Netcare haematology units at Netcare uMhlanga Hospital in KwaZulu-Natal, UCT Private Academic and Netcare Kuils River hospitals in the Western Cape, Netcare Pretoria East, and a bone marrow unit at Netcare Garden City Hospital in Johannesburg, but there has been a great need for a new highly specialised facility to serve patients in our area.”

“Our haematology practice is therefore most grateful to Netcare and Netcare Olivedale Hospital for their commitment to developing this important new facility, and for training the necessary nursing and support staff.”

She points out that haematological conditions are often multifaceted and complex, and require a specialised team approach within an appropriately equipped centre in order to achieve the best possible outcomes for patients. The haematology unit at Netcare Olivedale Hospital makes available all of the necessary technology, skills and support services to enable treatment which meets the specific needs of each individual patient.

The new unit will offer, for example, cutting edge hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, which is used in the treatment of various cancers including leukaemia, multiple myeloma, some lymphomas, blood and bone marrow disorders and diseases of the immune system. Stem cell harvesting is being done in collaboration with the South African National Blood Service (SANBS).

“In addition to malignant conditions affecting the blood, the team at the facility will also diagnose and treat all blood clotting/thrombotic disorders, which can pose a great risk to health, as well as bleeding disorders and diseases associated with low blood counts such as anaemia.

“The unit will include state-of-the-art isolation rooms, which are especially designed to protect patients undergoing bone marrow transplantation, who require the most stringent levels of infection control,” says Dr Gunther.

Du Plessis adds that Dr Gunther, Dr Singh and Dr Ashmore have shown a great commitment to the development of the facility. “We at Netcare and the specialist haematology team share a common aim, namely to develop the unit into the foremost private referral care facility where we will also be able to extend our service to haematology patients from other regions where such dedicated and specialised facilities and services are not available.”

Dr Gunther affirms that the specialist team’s skills will complement one another: “we work closely together with each of us having our own particular areas of interest and strengths. Together we are committed to providing the best possible treatment experience for our patients, by working closely with the nursing and support staff and with the hospital management to ensure a treatment facility offering care, support and healing.”

“Netcare has identified a tremendous need for this new haematology unit within the Johannesburg region,” noted Netcare Olivedale Hospital general manager, Linda Bhagaloo. “We are consequently delighted to now be able to offer our patients access to the very latest medical care available within this field of medicine,” she concludes.


To find out more about the services offered through Netcare hospitals and other of the Group’s facilities, please contact Netcare’s customer service centre either by email at [email protected] or phone 0860 NETCARE (0860 638 2273). Note that the centre operates Mondays to Fridays from 08:00 to 16:30.

For more information on this media release, contact MNA at the contact details listed below.

Issued by:    Martina Nicholson Associates (MNA) on behalf of Netcare Olivedale Hospital
Contact:    Martina Nicholson, Graeme Swinney, Meggan Saville and Estene Lotriet Vorster
Telephone:    (011) 469 3016
Email:        [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] or
[email protected]