Doctor pleads for private medical experts to volunteer during Covid-19 crisis
"This is the most defining time for our people and our profession since the world wars... But, I firmly believe that whatever we do to help another person during this time will be one step closer to lessening the blow."
As South Africa goes into lockdown, Dr Mark van der Velde has launched a call to action for his colleagues in the medical profession to make a critical difference in the fight to stem the spread of Covid-19.
John Maytham speaks to the chairperson of the Clinical Hospital Committee at Cape Town Mediclinic.
Dr van der Velde makes the point that medical professionals in private practise are being under-utilised during the current crisis.
We've stopped elective surgery and while some of us will continue emergency surgery, this is simply a plea to not only doctors - to nurses, to physios, to occupational therapists, anybody out there who can help.Dr Mark van der Velde, Chair - Clinical Hospital Committee at Cape Town Mediclinic
We're not going to see the numbers start dropping now; we''ll only see that curve start flattening in about two weeks from now because that's the incubation period of the virus.Dr Mark van der Velde, Chair - Clinical Hospital Committee at Cape Town Mediclinic
He warns people who are still not taking the self-isolation message seriously of the possibly fatal repercussions.
To all those people out there who think 'I'm fine, I'm in my twenties, I'm just quickly going to see my friend... ': Just remember that that one transmission, exponentially down the line, may cause 10/20/30 deaths.Dr Mark van der Velde, Chair - Clinical Hospital Committee at Cape Town Mediclinic
He says the tellers in our supermarkets, some of them not in prime health, are really in the frontline of the pandemic as are the nurses and cleaners in hospitals.
Spare a thought for them in anything you do.Dr Mark van der Velde, Chair - Clinical Hospital Committee at Cape Town Mediclinic
Dr van der Velde notes that a database of volunteers will be started by Cape Town Mediclinic's doctor relationship manager, Chantell Lamont.
As private medicine we've fought business and government and we've lost... We're battle-weary in this country in private medicine... Let's show that they can't take away that one thing from us which is our right to treat the sick and hold the hand of the dying.Dr Mark van der Velde, Chair - Clinical Hospital Committee at Cape Town Mediclinic
Let's take back the profession. It's our time to shine now.Dr Mark van der Velde, Chair - Clinical Hospital Committee at Cape Town Mediclinic
Listen to Dr van der Velde's impassioned plea in the audio below:
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