17 Mar
2017

“Hillcrest Private Hospital and its holding company – Busamed – have chosen not to comment on the public debate surrounding the Shongweni landfill site prior to today, as we felt it would be reckless to do so without conclusive evidence,” said hospital manager Japie Greyling.

“Instead, we have followed a path of positive engagement, stating our concerns and seeking the facts of the issue. However, it is important that the record be set straight regarding misinformation that has made its way onto social and other media platforms.”

The allegations centre around three core issues:

  1. That the hospital somehow profits from any potential ill health caused by the Shongweni landfill site. “The role of the hospital is to provide infrastructure to medical practitioners, who offer their services to the community. While the hospital’s core function revolves around medical services, the actual services are provided by the tenants.”
    Certain individuals have suggested that an increase in patient numbers at the hospital is related to the smell. “Our data shows that in the previous financial year, medical admissions have remained stable, while surgical admissions have increased, largely due to the new cath lab and an increased number of specialists operating from the hospital,” Greyling explained.
    At present, the hospital is unable to say if there has been an increase in upper respiratory tract infections, but the hospital and staff are open to assisting in collecting the necessary data. This would require cooperation between all specialists and hospitals in the area, including Crompton, Westville and Hillcrest Provincial Hospital.
  2. Hillcrest Private Hospital disposes of its medical waste via Compass Medical Waste Services and general waste via Don’t Waste Services, neither of which make use of Shongweni Landfill Site. Neither the hospital nor Busamed have any dealings with Enviroserv.
  3. The hospital has had no dealings with Dr Carlos de Nobrega, either past or present.

 

“We are in the community for the community and are committed to assisting wherever possible,” Greyling continued.

To date, members of the management of the hospital have met with and engaged with representatives of Upper Highway Air NPC and other members of the community. They have also addressed their concerns in writing directly to the Department of Environmental Affairs, as well as Enviroserv.

Hospital management are currently investigating the feasibility of installing air monitoring equipment at the hospital to assist with data collection.

“Busamed and Hillcrest Private Hospital are firmly behind supporting a safe environment for our community,” says Glenn de Villiers, Busamed Acting Chief Operations Manager. “Our way forward on this issue, however, will be determined by decisions that are based on fact. We have a strong commitment to the Upper Highway area and it is our belief that only through a responsible approach to this challenges will we see benefits to our community.”

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