Much-needed CSI cataract surgeries restore clear vision

Dr Andrew Murray doing a nerve block on Mrs Miriam Benjamin

On Friday October 1, 2021 Mediclinic Stellenbosch Day Clinic hosted their second Eye Week CSI Collaboration with Paarl Provincial Hospital.

This is part of an ongoing relationship between Mediclinic and the Western Cape Department of Health as well as a working relationship between Mediclinic Stellenbosch and Paarl Provincial Hospital. In previous years, both ENT and ophthalmic surgeries have been done in collaboration in an effort to assist with long waiting lists for specific surgeries.

In the latest collaboration, Dr Steve Steyn, Ophthalmic Surgeon based at Mediclinic Stellenbosch Day Clinic, performed cataract surgery on 19 patients screened and selected by Dr Magdel Putter, Ophthalmic Surgeon at Paarl Provincial Hospital. Dr Auret Lochner and Dr Riaan Murray, both Anaesthesiologists from Stellenbosch Anaesthetists, assisted with the procedures.

“During the recent pandemic, many of these collaborative surgeries had to be delayed. We are grateful to have the opportunity to once again work with the public sector, assisting with their waiting lists for surgeries such as this,” says Carol van Zyl, Hospital General Manager of Mediclinic Stellenbosch.

“Our day clinic provides the ideal option to assist with these surgeries as it is designed for quick, same day surgery. Our surgical patients are all tested prior to admission to ensure that they are negative before surgery – reducing the Covid-19 related risk.”

She continues, “We know and understand that there is pressure on the public facilities in our community and by taking on these patients, others will find their surgeries expedited on that side. It all has a positive effect on the situation, however small or big the contribution.”

“It is indeed a pleasure to partner with Mediclinic in this worthy cause of helping 19 patients, delayed during the Covid-19 pandemic, restore their eyesight and making a significant impact in their quality of life. This is not the first time we’ve had the pleasure of serving the local community in collaboration with Dr Steyn and we are grateful for his sustained involvement in reducing the cataract waiting list at Paarl Hospital. We are excited about the future opportunities that these kind of joint ventures can hold for the citizens of our beautiful valley,” says Francois van der Watt, Chief Executive Officer Paarl Hospital.

Dr Steyn believes there is a greater value than just each individual surgery, “Today, we are touching lives and changing them – we are reducing the waiting time for key procedures so that patients can return to their lives in better health. Not only will each recipient of the cataract operations be able to once again actively participate in their community, but other patients’ procedures will be brought forward in the schedule, having a knock-on benefit to the community.”

“We would like to thank Paarl Provincial Hospital and the Western Cape Department of Health for being available to participate in this collaboration. We look forward to seeing what can still be achieved together across our country,” concludes Bob Govender, Industry Affairs Executive for Mediclinic Southern Africa.

Dr Steve Steyn supported by Sr Tessa Williamson working on Mrs Denise Tallie during her surgery.