Adding to its already formidable array of medical facilities, the Melomed Gatesville Private Hospital opened its upgraded catheterisation laboratory, or cathlab. It offers state-of-the-art, 24-hour diagnostics treatment for a variety of illnesses and includes a cardiac intensive-care unit (ICU) and cardiac theatre.

Henry Hendricks, hospital manager at Melomed Gatesville Hospital, says the facility is staffed by an expert team of interventional cardiologists. “It’s an important addition to the range of medical facilities we offer, upgraded to ultramodern standards. It’s also the first of its kind in the community, offering convenience and accessibility to surrounding areas.

“These facilities are staffed by some of the province’s top specialists, offering a range of services, including electrophysiology (EPS), diagnostic coronary angiograms, coronary artery stenting and rotablation for coronary artery stenosis.”

Mr Hendricks explains: “The unit has the latest Siemens catheterisation machine that enables a variety of complicated cardiac, neurological and vascular medical and surgical procedures. These include stenting of major peripheral arteries in the arms, legs, kidneys, abdominal aorta and carotid arteries.

“Importantly, the equipment provides our highly trained specialists with a better view of blood flow, enables them to locate clots in blood-vessels and choose from of a number of ways to intervene immediately.

“We’re proud that Melomed’s hospitals are stroke-ready, a term used to describe facilities with optimal stroke treatment procedures. For example, the internationally accepted time-window for stroke patients – called door-to-needle (DTN) – is under 60 minutes. The Melomed Gatesville medical team has reduced that time to just 17 minutes in one particular case, dramatically improving chances of recovery.”

The impact of that efficiency is already evident: since the upgrade of the cathlab, it’s already had 14 successful interventions, Mr Hendricks adds.

Melomed Gatesville is a centre of excellence for cardiology and cardiac catheterisation, cardiothoracic surgery, spinal and other orthopaedic surgery, neurosurgery, neonatology, gastroenterology and general surgery. The hospital’s expanded facilities house the biggest single-floor ICU in the Western Cape and include:

– A fully equipped emergency centre

– A renal dialysis unit

– An oncology unit, which includes a breast clinic

– Nuclear medicine

– Melomed24, an around-the-clock ambulance service.

Mr Hendricks says, “The renovation of the catheterisation unit is a demonstration of our commitment to the highest level of quality private healthcare and world-class facilities. As the largest wholly-owned black private hospital group in the Western Cape we aim to provide our communities with uncompromised access to health and recovery.”

Melomed Private Hospitals operates five hospitals in the Cape Town area and has opened its sixth, in Richards Bay on the KwaZulu-Natal north coast.

In 2017 the Melomed Private Hospital Group and the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at Stellenbosch University established a partnership for the training of medical undergraduates. This provides fourth-year medical students with a four-week rotational internship at Melomed Gatesville, supervised and trained by Melomed specialists.

This empowers the students with access to a transfer of rare clinical skills, accompanying specialist doctors on ward rounds, assisting doctors with patients, participating in direct patient care evaluations, and monitoring patient responses and successful discharge.

The success of the partnership has led Stellenbosch University to recognise Melomed Gatesville as a centre of excellence and prompted the rollout of the partnership to other Melomed facilities. This partnership is now being extended to other universities.

In 2005, Melomed Gatesville was awarded the HASA (Hospital Association of South Africa) Award of Excellence for Establishing World Class Medical Services or Technology.

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