New chemotherapy unit opened at Netcare Milpark Hospital

Iconic Johannesburg hospital strengthens cancer care offering

Monday, June 18 2018

A new chemotherapy unit has been established at the iconic Netcare Milpark Hospital in Parktown, Johannesburg, offering convenient access to chemotherapy for individuals in the surrounding communities requiring this service.

“The modern chemotherapy unit is a welcome addition to the healthcare services available at our Hospital, and bolsters the person-centred health and care we are able to provide for those requiring cancer treatment,” says Dr Justin Gavanescu, general manager of Netcare Milpark Hospital.

The hospital is renowned for its range of highly specialised healthcare services, including being one of only two private hospitals in South Africa with a Level 1 accredited trauma centre, and the internationally accredited Netcare Milpark Breast Care Centre of Excellence, among others.
“The new chemotherapy unit has been designed to provide a tranquil setting for patients who need chemotherapy infusions. In common with all such facilities at Netcare hospitals, treatment is provided in accordance with the South African Oncology Consortium’s protocols,” Dr Gavanescu notes.

According to Noeleen Phillipson, Netcare’s executive responsible for cancer care, the chemotherapy services offered at Netcare Milpark Hospital are backed with evidence-based protocols and a caring, dedicated multidisciplinary team of specialists, nurses and other healthcare professionals.

“We recognise that each cancer diagnosis is unique. A multidisciplinary team works together to identify the optimal approach for each individual treatment journey to ensure quality physical care and psychological support is provided,” she explains. 

“A patient navigator assists in coordinating each individual’s treatment, guiding and supporting them through diagnosis, treatment and follow-up care. Not only does the patient navigator assist the person undergoing treatment through the various medical disciplines and healthcare providers, they also help to streamline the process so that the individual can focus on their recovery.”

Medical oncologists, who are specialists in antineoplastic drug management and form an integral part of the multidisciplinary team, have consulting facilities at Netcare Milpark Hospital and provide patients with chemotherapy in the new unit. Oncology pharmacists are responsible for carefully mixing the required chemotherapy drugs in a biosafety cabinet.

“Specially trained nursing staff members administer the therapeutic chemotherapy infusions in accordance with the South African Oncology Consortium (SAOC) guidelines, policies and treatment regimes. The infusions take place in a spacious treatment area, where family or friends can stay with patients or where patients can choose to chat to each other,” Phillipson says.

“The unit has been designed in such a way as to also offer privacy during treatment for patients who prefer this. Each of the 18 comfortable treatment stations are equipped with a flat screen TV for those who prefer entertainment during infusion sessions, while WiFi access is also available.

“As in all our facilities, infection prevention is a high priority. Chemotherapy infusions are provided in a hygienic clinical environment for the safety of our patients, while the look and feel of the unit was designed with comfort and tranquillity in mind.”

Additional services, including counselling, advice on coping with the illness, nutritional guidance and physiotherapy for patients suffering with lymphedema, provide further value-adding support for patients.

According to Phillipson, Netcare’s approach to cancer care services is underpinned by the appropriate use of high-end treatment technology and collaboration with independent oncologists embracing best practice in cancer care, so that patients are assured of clinical excellence.

“We strive to provide each person with continuous emotional support while being respectful of each one’s deeply personal journey. We recognise that everyone will have their own way of coping, and our approach is to offer world-class clinical treatments, together with caring, professional guidance that is empathetic of each individual’s specific needs. We ensure that no one fights cancer alone,” Phillipson says.

The facility is also home to Gamma Knife South Africa, the only centre in South Africa to provide highly advanced cranial radiosurgery with applications for malignant and benign tumours of the head and neck among other conditions. Intraoperative radiation therapy for treatment of breast cancer is also provided at Netcare Milpark Hospital.
“The new chemotherapy unit adds to the spectrum of cancer care services that are available at Netcare Milpark Hospital. We anticipate that this new chapter in the hospital’s unfolding history will assist a great many people with life-saving treatment and value-adding support services in the years to come,” Dr Gavanescu concluded.


Issued by: Martina Nicholson Associates (MNA) on behalf of Netcare Milpark 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]