The Covid-19 pandemic has affected every single person on this earth and has changed the way we will live for a long time to come. We all had to adjust to the normal. I think that everyone has realised by now that our safety is interdependent on other people’s action and habits. What I learned from these 4 tough months, is to embrace science and practice safely, outcome-based medicine needs to be the only priority. I also realised how important every member of the team is in the treatment of each patient.

The Mediclinic Vergelegen Hospital Covid-19 Response was coordinated by a team of very dedicated physicians, clinical and nursing management. We are eternally grateful for their commitment and dedication to keeping patients, staff and healthcare practitioners as safe as possible. The success of treatment of patients during the Western Cape peak at MVH was due to teams of very dedicated physicians, nursing practitioners and ancillary staff in the hospital.

Our practice also had to adjust to the new normal regarding cleaning practices, staging of bookings, de-cluttering of office and distance follow-ups. We appreciate that the lockdown affected normal follow-ups for our patients during a challenging period. We also had to experience self-quarantine and uncertainty of 4 different Covid-19 tests, which were all negative.

Going forward, we will strive to treat our patients safely and with dignity to the best of our ability. We will embrace any advice on how to improve the patient experience.

The Covid-19 pandemic and Osteoarthritis

Covid-19 has affected everyone, but sufferers of Osteoarthritis have had to endure more than most. For some patients with Osteoarthritis and co-morbidities, the delay in treatment, osteotomies and replacement surgery has been even longer. Often patients have become despondent whilst surgeons, physicians and anaesthesiologists calculate the risks and assess the situation to determine when surgery can be performed safely.

During the lockdown, routine Orthopaedic Surgery could be performed with strict criteria in place. Routine hip and knee arthroplasty procedures were done without any major complications. There were no patients who came for routine Orthopaedic procedures that were infected with Covid-19 during the different stages of lockdown at Mediclinic Vergelegen Hospital.

The unintended upside of planned surgery during the Covid-19 lockdown was a significant decrease in average hospital days for arthroplasty patients. The lockdown has enabled surgeons, anaesthesiologists, physiotherapists and patients to embrace accelerated recovery and earlier discharge. I believe that this accelerated recovery will benefit all patients.