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Private healthcare companies assure Parly they are ready to deal with COVID-19

Two of the country’s biggest healthcare groups, Life Healthcare and Netcare, briefed a joint meeting of the National Assembly and National Council of Provinces health committees on Wednesday.

Netcare's Kingsway Hospital in Amanzimtoti in KwaZulu-Natal. Picture: www.netcarehospitals.co.za

CAPE TOWN - Private healthcare companies have assured Parliament that they’re ready to deal with any COVID-19 eventualities at their various health facilities.

Two of the country’s biggest healthcare groups, Life Healthcare and Netcare, briefed a joint meeting of the National Assembly and National Council of Provinces health committees on Wednesday.

They told MPs that measures have been put in place to address infections at hospitals.

The two companies have been in the media in recent weeks for all the wrong reasons, from being accused of mixing COVID-19 patients with others to mistreating staff members.

But they told MPs that they were working on plans to deal with COVID-19.

Life Healthcare CEO Adam Pyle acknowledged mistakes would happen, but said safety was a priority.

“We obviously want to ensure and assure the safety of our staff and preserve their jobs, except of course, we are going to get things wrong sometimes but reflect to share learnings and best operating practice. Of course, we have some agility to respond to this pandemic.”

Netcare CEO Richard Friedland told members that his company was increasing its capacity of ventilators.

“So, whilst we could have 1,400 odd ventilators, we could use another 1,692 beds where we can provide different forms of oxygen.”

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