By Ruvesen Naidoo
Peppergrove Mall has a new healthcare service facility that will be open for 13 hours a day, seven days a week. The Meta Clinic has been open for nine days now, with branches in Gqeberha and Elardus Park, Pretoria.
Experienced local doctors Dr. Fred Oosthuizen and Dr. Unine Odendaal will be leading the practice, which offers regular primary health care services, including basic cardiac screening, abscess drainage, sutures, family planning, ECG analysis, sprain management, sutures, family planning, and women’s health services.
Jullian Britz, one of the managing directors of the Meta Clinic Group says the clinic is a private medical facility and costs for its services will apply. “All claims are sent to medical aids. Co-payments could apply subject to scheme rates”, said Britz.
He added that the clinic would start a “community clinic model aimed at marginalised communities where they will receive free medical treatment. This is a future plan for Makhanda as we feel healthcare should be accessible to all”.
Doctors will work in shifts to run the clinic from 7am to 8pm seven days a week. “There will always be a nurse on duty to carry out our screening process before you see the doctor, and there will always be a doctor on duty to diagnose and treat the patient,” said Britz.
Meta Clinic’s new technology includes online registration and appointment bookings, self-check-in for patients, and digital medical record-keeping. Patients will have access to their medical history through a patient portal. Laure De Vos, marketer at Ampath Laboratories describes the Meta Clinic as “new and upmarket”.
Britz said patients could feel secure even when visiting the clinic after dark. “We form part of the Peppergrove Mall that has 24-hour security, and they have allocated extra security to make sure the patients and staff of the clinic are looked after. Access control is utilised at various times of the day to ensure patient and staff safety,” he said.
Rodger Siyengo, Head Sector Specialist at Standard Bank’s provincial office in Gqeberha said: “It is necessary for a new healthcare service provider to open in Makhanda as it provides access to quality healthcare over and above what is already available in town. It is also good for employment”.
The clinic’s evening and weekend operating hours are expected to be received positively by Makhanda residents, as they offer another healthcare option beyond the existing services of Settlers Hospital – at least until 8pm in the evening, and on Sundays, when other GP practices are closed.