THE CLINIX Health Group family, medicos including the late Dr Nthato Motlana’s daughter, Dr Mashadi Motlana and choir, government officials and community members attended the sod-turning ceremony to mark the commencement of the construction of the group’s seventh hospital in Protea Glen, Soweto.
The largest private healthcare operator in community townships, The Clinix Health Group, will soon break ground in Soweto with its seventh hospital, the first phase of which is expected to be completed and operational by 2019.
This will boost the Group’s footprint to include 1 700 beds around South Africa. The new hospital will bear the name of the late medical pioneer and anti-apartheid icon, Dr Nthato Motlana, who played a formidable role in establishing a medical scheme and a private clinic to serve the needs of the disadvantaged Soweto community in the 1980s.
It was at this time that the clinic opened its doors to gruesome casualties of the civil unrest – typical of that era.
This clinic paved the way for the Clinix Health Group which was formed in 1992 thanks to a vision by Dr Motlana, alongside Dr Godfrey Pitje, Richard Maponya and 35 other doctors who were determined to offer the people of Soweto quality medical treatment, after being excluded under the previous government.
The new hospital, which will be situated opposite Protea Glen Mall, will boast facilities such as an adult ICU ward, a radiology unit, an integrated theatre complex and a maternity ward and so, on.
According to Dr Mashadi Motlana, a member of the Clinix Health Group’s board of Directors, the new facility’s main focus will be on women’s health care. “I am very glad that this hospital will have a particular focus on maternity and women’s health because that was one of his [Dr Nthato Motlana] passions.
He wanted to specialize in obstetrics but couldn’t after he led a protest at Baragwanath hospital,” said Motlana. “This day is a culmination of the recognition of my father’s contribution to the community of Soweto but it is also a culmination of his wish to see black businesses thrive in the form of Clinix and Dr Matseke’s entrepreneurship,” rounded off Motlana.
The younger Motlana was acknowledging the role of Group CEO, Dr Khamane Matseke. The son of the legendary educationist, SK Matseke, after whom a school on Orlando West’s famous Vilakazi Street has been named, Matseke, affectionately referred to by the nickname, “Kop”, began the health portfolio back in 1992 with an initial contribution of R70 000 and what he describes as “sweat equity”.
Looking at him beaming and being his exuberant self and with his nonagenarian mother, Neriah in attendance – needless to say, the rest is history!
Quipped Ward 135 Councillor, Elliot Sithole, within whose immediate jurisdiction the soon to rise hospital will fall, “For the first time in Protea Glen there will be an elevator that will remind us that we are going up!” Sithole went on to welcome the construction and commissioning of the hospital in his ward and was pleased with being given the opportunity to help advance black business.
He also acknowledged the potential of the hospital bringing new employment opportunities for the residents of Protea Glen and neighbouring communities – noting that the area was fast growing and providing lots of economic opportunities.
“We want to see our workers walking to work and this hospital will make that happen for some of our residents,” said Sithole.
Dr Ayanda Ntsaluba, Chairman of the Clinix Health Group Board says: “Throughout the expansion of Clinix Health Group, we have remained true to our founding oath of providing quality patient care, friendly service, and community upliftment by establishing good relationships with healthcare professionals and government.
We are proud to be breaking ground on our seventh hospital, as it enables us to significantly expand our healthcare services to the people of Soweto.”
The Clinix Health Group has come a long way since the opening of its first hospital in 1994.
The Group’s flagship hospital was Clinix Botshelong Empilweni Private Hospital that opened with 104 beds.
Today, the group boasts over 1 500 beds nationwide including Gauteng locations in Selby, Diepkloof, Dobsonville, Vosloorus and Vereeniging.
Further north, Clinix has also established a hospital in Mafikeng.
Dr Ntsaluba adds: “While growth is exciting, it is the lives that we touch that matter the most.
In the last year alone, we treated more than 76 000 patients, and delivered 3 669 babies into the world. Everything we do as a Group has the communities that we serve at our core.
To that end, we are also adamant about employing from within the community.
To date, 95% of the Clinix Health Group’s nursing, cleaning and administration staff come from the local communities. It is – also encouraging to see more local doctors, surgeons, and medical specialists joining our Group.”
“All the funding for this project has been secured and we are ready to start construction,” he proclaimed.
The Clinix Health Group was named as one of the top five healthcare groups in South Africa in 2016, an honour bestowed to the Group by Top Co Media.