Latest Healthcare sector features from across Africa.

Latest Healthcare Corporate Stories

Medhold Medical

Prognosis for growth Turning 25 years old is always a special occasion, but Matthew Stephens, CEO of Johannesburg-based Medhold Medical, is even more excited about what the next ten years will hold. Writer Ian Armitage Project manager Eddie Clinton Johannesburg-based Medhold Medical is a leader in the Healthcare Device Industry. Part of the Medhold Group, it has been in business for 25 years and is expanding into SADC countries – with its latest outreach to Zambia and Zimbabwe. It is also repositioning itself for South Africa's coming National Health Insurance scheme "which is being rolled out over the next 10 to 12 years," CEO Matthew Stephens says. "Medhold will focus on supporting the state sector as government builds its hospital infrastructure, healthcare professionals, as well as working with the private hospital groups too," he explains. With over 20 years of experience in partnering with leading healthcare device suppliers in South Africa – of products ranging from life support equipment, such as anaesthesia machines and ICU ventilators to diathermy plates – Medhold is poised to increase its African expansion. A member of staff since 1996, Stephens notes a number of highlights, including its management buyout in 1998 when the business was "really, really small". There was a commitment from management and staff which helped to turn the business around and they went on to make a number of acquisitions between 2004 and 2007. BBBEE (broad-based black economic empowerment) with its yearly audits has been an interesting challenge – Medhold has a rating of four - as well

Hersol Manufacturing Laboratories

Invest for success A programme of continuous improvement and investment is paying off at Hersol Manufacturing Laboratories, one of South Africa's leading pharmaceutical contract manufacturing companies. Writer Ian Armitage Project manager Eddie Clinton Hersol Manufacturing Laboratories is a fully licensed and registered pharmaceutical manufacturing company founded in 1980. The firm was established by Laurence Solomons and Sam Hertzkowitz and, thanks to a programme of continuous improvement and investment, is today one of South Africa's leading pharmaceutical contract manufacturing companies, specialising in the development and manufacture of complementary medicines, nutritional supplements and pharmaceuticals. 2012 was a good year for the Jeppestown, Johannesburg-based company, whose 70 year old manufacturing facility complies withthe Medicine Control Council (MCC) Code of Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) – making it standout in a highly competitive field. Hersol has a full pharmaceutical manufacturing license, re-assessed regularly by the South African Medicine Control Council. "In our sector of the pharmaceutical industry – complementary and alternative medicinal products (CAMS) – business has been excellent for 18 months," says Managing Director André Buhrlen. Indeed it has. Volume rose by 38 percent last year and has remained "solid" so far this year. Cash flow has improved dramatically too, allowing Hersol to bring forward upgrade plans and acquire additional equipment needed to cope with the volume increases. However, despite the excellent performance, a significant challenge continues to loom over the company. That challenge is pharmaceutical regulations for CAMS products. "It is an unknown factor," Buhrlen explains. "This means there are different standards of manufacturing and this creates uneven playing

Hutz Medical

African health solutions The Hutz brand has become synonymous with high quality hospital equipment and is aiming to take advantage of growth opportunities at home in South Africa and across the African continent. Writer Ian Armitage Project manager Eddie Clinton Hutz Medical specialises in the manufacture of high-tech medical service supply systems, commonly known as Bedhead Trunking, Ceiling Mounted Pendants, that falls under the fixed capital equipment requirements in the construction and refurbishment of all Hospitals. With over 40 years of experience, Hutz offers "specialised solutions to suit customer requirements", says Julian Hutz, the company's Sales and Marketing Director. "Our products are known for their innovative, modern and aesthetic designs which are underpinned by practical technology; therefore they are dependable and durable," he explains. "The Hutz range of hospital equipment has been developed in consultation with healthcare professionals. This enabled us to create a range of user-friendly equipment, tailored to the care giver. "Our products play an important role in the design of new medical facilities and the upgrade of existing ones, helping hospital staff to deliver high standards of care. We understand the needs of the industry and this is reflected in the equipment we produce." The Hutz range of products includes various medical services supply units, operating theatre ceiling pendants, technical panels/walls, high care and intensive care ceiling pendants, medical lighting, as well as x-ray viewing screens and attachments. According to Mr Hutz, this is "an exciting time" to be involved in the medical industry. "There are plenty of opportunities for companies like us,"

Hillcrest Private Hospital

Medical marvel Nestled in the leafy suburb of Hillcrest KwaZulu-Natal Hillcrest Private Hospital provides quality healthcare driven by a strong, customer-centric focus. Writer Ian Armitage Project manager Eddie Clinton It's July 1, 2011. Staff and management of Hillcrest Private Hospital have gathered together. It's a proud day. Today the hospital is officially opened. It marks the end of what has been a long wait for the local community, a community that now benefits from a full range of medical services and quality healthcare from a professional and dedicated team. Director of Hillcrest Private Hospital, Glen Passmore, says the hospital's first two years have been "hugely successful" and that it delivers a fresh, family-focused, comfortable hospital experience whilst adhering to international standards of quality care "from the concierge who welcomes patients to the professional, caring medical team." The 200-bed hospital has 24-hour casualty, day clinic, high care and ICU, state-of-the-art radiology and pathology - and much more - and is committed to "providing quality care coupled with exceptional service delivery." "We're easily accessible from the N3 and M13 and perfectly positioned away from the hustle and bustle of the city and that makes us a little different," explains Passmore. "It is one of many things that make us different actually." Hillcrest Private Hospital caters for the greater community stretching from Pietermaritzburg through to the North and South Coast of KZN. It was born out of an increasing demand for healthcare in South Africa, a country whose healthcare system is deeply divided. In the blue corner, there is


Surgical steel SafMed offers a range of products and services that help customers do their jobs more safely, effectively and efficiently. Writer Ian Armitage Project manager Eddie Clinton Founded in 1988, SafMed is a private company registered in South Africa, which specialises in the importation, production and marketing of decontamination, infection prevention and surgical products. It has developed a strong customer base in both the private and public provincial hospital segments and has built a reputation within the industry as being market leaders within a number of product offerings. "Our model is based around value based products with an emphasis on quality," says Marketing Director Pat Ayling. "The sorts of products on offer include CSSD equipment and cosumables,, infection prevention products and surgical support equipment." There are plenty of opportunities for companies like SafMed. One lies in medical instrument traceability. "If we think back five to 10 years, looking at sterilization for example, which is probably the biggest part of our business and where we started out, we have seen that the washing of equipment has come to the fore and I think hospitals are realising that they need to control that process," says Ayling. "Not only in this country, but worldwide, there is recognition that it is not just about the sterilizing process and that it is very important that before you sterilize instruments are properly cleaned. The other trend we have seen relates to traceability. That is coming to the fore. We are looking at introducing computerised systems for this purpose. "The other area


Helping to heal South Africa Netcare strives for quality patient care, grounded by an unwavering commitment to its values. Writer Ian Armitage Project manager Stuart Shirra As South Africa's largest private hospital group, primary care network and emergency service provider, Netcare strives for quality patient care, grounded by an unwavering commitment to its values. "Our core value is care," says Kerishnie Naiker, Director Communications at Netcare. "Providing quality care is both a duty and a privilege which we assume seriously. "In 2011, we launched the Netcare Way, a programme aimed at inculcating five consistent behaviours in our staff. This, together with our values of care, dignity, participation, truth and passion directly and profoundly impact the quality of interpersonal interactions that our patients, colleagues and clinical partners experience within our facilities. "In practicing these behaviours consistently, we give practical meaning to significantly living our values and create a minimum benchmark of how we treat everyone at Netcare," she asserts. Since its listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) in December 1996, Netcare has grown into a business with a market capitalisation in excess of R26 billion. The group earned revenues of R25 billion for the financial year ended 30 September 2012, of which 58 percent or almost R15 billion was generated from its South African operations, and the balance from its business in the United Kingdom. "In 2012, our South African business grew its operating profit by 11 percent to almost R2.5 billion, underpinned by an investment of R875 million in maintaining and expanding our network of