Limpopo load shedding

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Fake news: 26 doctors admitted in ICU at Milpark Hospital

Netcare denies claims making the rounds on WhatsApp groups, claiming that 26 doctors were fighting for their lives in the ICU at Milpark.

Limpopo load shedding

Image via Adobe Stock

The hospital group Netcare has on Monday denied the claims that 26 doctors have been admitted to its Milpark hospital’s ICU.


“Netcare refutes the statement completely. It is absolutely not true that 26 doctors have been admitted to the ICU department of Netcare Milpark Hospital,” Jacques du Plessis, MD of Netcare’s hospital division said on Monday.

His response follows a WhatsApp message that has been making the rounds, claiming that doctors were fighting for their lives in the ICU at Milpark.

Du Plessis said the Netcare facilities in Gauteng, like all other private and public healthcare facilities in the province, continue to experience an unprecedented demand to provide hospital care for COVID-19 positive patients.

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“We continue to monitor capacity in our hospitals on an ongoing, real-time basis as the situation remains fluid. Over the past few weeks we have transferred a number of patients who could not be admitted to the hospital where they sought help, to other Netcare hospitals and other private hospitals in the province.

“Yesterday (Friday,26 June 2021) for the first time, we for had to transfer two patients requiring care in an ICU (intensive care unit) setting to a Netcare facility in KwaZulu-Natal.”

He said this is a strategy they adopt if a patient is waiting for urgent care whilst in an ED for a prolonged period and cannot be accommodated in the appropriate setting.

“The patient and family agreement is clearly important in such cases.”

He said this is despite having optimised their COVID-19 bed capacity and having contracted more resident medical officers and clinical associates to render assistance to as many patients as possible during the fast-escalating COVID-19 surge which we are currently experiencing in Gauteng.”

Du Plessis added that they will continue with this strategy until there is an ease on the already exhausted resources.

“Other private hospital groups have also adopted this strategy and transferred patients to facilities outside the province, and others are likely to find themselves in the same position unless the curve starts to flatten,” adds Du Plessis.


He said the situation can only improve if all South African act responsibly and adhere to precautions.

“We have, throughout the third wave, cautioned South Africans regarding the severity of the spread in Gauteng and appealed to them to take COVID-19 extremely seriously and be more cautious than ever,” Du Plessis added.

“Please remain vigilant to help protect your loved ones, yourself, and the healthcare system. It is critical for each individual to closely adhere to COVID-19 precautions including washing their hands regularly, avoiding social gatherings, ensuring that your work and home environment is well ventilated, maintaining social distancing, and always wearing a mask in public and when in the presence of others, to protect yourself, your loved ones, and to help prevent the spread of the virus.

Du Plessis also appealed to the public to test for COVID-19 and seek care from their general practitioners early if they are concerned that they may have contracted the virus.

“Many persons unfortunately still wait to seek medical care until their condition becomes so severe that they require treatment in a critical care unit, which places immense pressure on emergency medical services, emergency departments and the healthcare system as a whole.

“Without every person taking personal responsibility to diligently adhering to these precautions to avoid contracting and passing on the virus, the third wave is not likely to flatten but may escalate even further,” concluded Du Plessis.

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