Netcare

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Not to be confused with the electronic health care system Alberta Netcare.

Netcare
Traded as JSE: NTC
Industry healthcare
Founded 1996
Headquarters Sandton, Johannesburg, South Africa
Subsidiaries General Healthcare Group
Website www.netcare.co.za

Netcare (Network Healthcare Holdings Limited) is a South African health care company. It is the largest provider of private healthcare (after LIFE Healthcare, formally known as Afrox Healthcare and Mediclinic International) in both South Africa and at one stage in the United Kingdom. It acquired a controlling stake in the UK's General Healthcare Group in 2006, and also provided services to the National Health Service via its subsidiary Netcare UK. Their current chairman is S. J. Vilakazi

History[edit]

Netcare was established in 1996, and was listed on the JSE Limited (Johannesburg Stock Exchange) the same year.[1] It initially expanded into the UK in 2001. In 2002 it won The Ophthalmic Chain contract in Kent, Merseyside, Cumbria, Lancashire, Hampshire, and Thames Valley, to carry out 44,500 cataract removals over a 5-year period and the £2.5bn contract for the Greater Manchester Surgical Centre, a 48-bed facility at Trafford General Hospital to provide 44,863 elective procedures over 5 years with a diagnostics programme valued at £1bn. In 2004 it signed a contract to carry out 41,600 cataract operations for the NHS at sites throughout the UK including Cumberland Infirmary.[2]

The company acquired a controlling stake in General Healthcare Group, the UK's largest private hospital group with 50 hospitals, in 2006 for £2.2 billion. This brought Netcare’s total number of hospitals to 120 with over 11,000 beds, 510 operating theatres, and 37 pharmacies. GHG had a subsidiary company, Amicus Health which tendered for NHS contracts. It had contracts with Stracathro Hospital for 8000 episodes of elective surgery in orthopaedics, urology, general surgery and gastroenterology from 2006-9.The company used Vanguard Healthcare mobile units to treat NHS cataract patients across the UK.[3] The mobile cataract units in Cumbria had failure rates 6 times that of local NHS facilities.[4]

6 patients who were treated at the Royal Hospital Haslar in Portsmouth in 2006 sued after faulty hip operations. Netcare blamed a single rogue surgeon who had since been excluded from operating and said this was ‘an isolated incident’.[5]

In 2010 five doctors from Netcare, two transplant unit staff, and the chief executive officer were charged for allegedly participating in an international kidney trading syndicate in which poor Brazilians and Romanians were paid to donate kidneys to wealthy Israelis.[6] The company pleaded guilty to conducting 109 illegal operations between 2001 and 2003. It admitted receiving 3.8 million rand (£342,000) from the syndicate. Netcare KwaZulu, in South Africa's eastern KwaZulu-Natal province, paid 7,820,000 rand (£704,000) in fines.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Netcare, Group History
  2. ^ "Patients get 'private' eye ops". BBC News. 7 June 2004. Retrieved 17 October 2014. 
  3. ^ "Providing solutions which enable patients to receive care closer to their homes". Vanguard Healthcare. Retrieved 16 October 2014. 
  4. ^ "Netcare Briefing" (PDF). Keep Our NHS Public. 2006. Retrieved 17 October 2014. 
  5. ^ "It sounds like an upgrade. But being sent to a private clinic by the NHS can end in tears". Daily Mail. 3 December 2012. Retrieved 17 October 2014. 
  6. ^ "Charges on South Africa 'kidney trafficking syndicate'". BBC News. 16 September 2010. Retrieved 16 October 2014. 
  7. ^ "South African hospital pleads guilty to organ trafficking case". Daily Telegraph. 10 November 2010. Retrieved 16 October 2014. 

External links[edit]