NCBMH clarifies reports relating to its readiness for COVID-19

Patients in need of medical assistance were at no time refused care

Sunday, March 22 2020

Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital (NCBMH) management wishes to clarify reports relating to its readiness to respond to COVID-19 cases.

“At no stage were people in need of emergency medical assistance, including COVID-19 positive cases, refused care at our hospital’s emergency department, and we sincerely apologise to the couple who were kept waiting for further advisement, for any inconvenience and anxiety that this has caused them,” says NCBMH general manager, Chris Tilney.

“A misunderstanding may have arisen when the independent doctor who is responsible for the running of the emergency department, quite correctly, and in accordance with the protocols regarding our response to suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases, requested the couple to wait while he consulted with clinical colleagues.

“Since this was not an emergency admission the doctor involved was confirming protocols and clinical and collegial support to ensure that all safety measures were in place to ensure the safety of staff and other patients, before accepting the patient. During this time the doctor at NCBMH remained in discussion with the Department of Health representative and advised that NCBMH was ready and awaiting the patient. The DoH representative advised that Groote Schuur Hospital’s clinical team had agreed that they could also assist and that the choice of facility should be left to the patient.

“We wish to assure the public that NCBMH is fully prepared to accept COVID-19 patients with the necessary dedicated, appropriate facilities and trained staff in managing COVID-19 patients safely, should they require admission. We have implemented all necessary precautionary measures in close consultation with the DoH and National Institute of Communicable Diseases as part of the national response to the unfolding COVID-19 outbreak.
“We extend our best wishes to the patient and trust that she will recover fully and speedily,” Tilney concluded.


Issued by:    MNA on behalf of the Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital
Contact:    Martina Nicholson, Graeme Swinney, Meggan Saville or Estene Lotriet-Voster
Telephone:    (011) 469 3016
Email:    [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] or [email protected]