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If you get sick, Durban is the city for the best care

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Durban has six of the top 20 private hospitals out of 140 in the country — so said patients in a survey released on Monday. Cape Town has the second-highest number with three.

Johannesburg‚ Pretoria and other cities, such as Nelspruit and East London, have only one in the patient-care survey.

The quality of nursing care‚ doctor care‚ the hospital environment‚ pain management and patient information about medication and discharge were the six major categories measured in the annual survey.

The Discovery Health 2017 patient survey does not disclose which hospitals scored the highest overall but lists the top 20.

Overall patient experience had improved year on year, the survey‚ in its fourth year‚ showed. The Life Healthcare group had the most hospitals in the top 20.

Doctors’ communication and management of pain are the categories that consistently scored the highest points.

Communication with nurses and information about medication showed good improvements‚ but planning for discharge could be better.

"Patients who are prepared well for discharge have better health outcomes and are at lower risk of repeat admissions‚" said Roshini Moodley Naidoo‚ head of quality of care at Discovery Health.

She said that measuring adult patient experience and publicly reporting on it year on year allowed the hospitals to track improvement strategies implemented by management.

"Making a patient’s experience of care visible … highlights opportunities to close certain gaps in how care is experienced by patients and families‚" Naidoo said.

A low patient experience score did not mean "a hospital does not deliver high-quality care"‚ she said‚ but it showed room for improvement.

About two million of 8.9-million medical scheme members in the country belong to Discovery Health.

The top 20 hospitals listed alphabetically are:

  • Ahmed Al-Kadi Private Hospital‚ Durban;
  • Busamed Gateway Private Hospital‚ Umhlanga;
  • Hillcrest Private Hospital‚ Durban;
  • Lenmed Ethekwini Hospital and Heart Centre‚ Durban;
  • Lenmed Health Nu-Shifa Hospital‚ Berea‚ Durban;
  • Life Bay View Private Hospital‚ Mossel Bay;
  • Life Carstenhof Hospital‚ Johannesburg;
  • Life Chatsmed Garden Hospital‚ Chatsworth‚ Durban;
  • Life Mount Edgecombe Hospital‚ Durban;
  • Life Roseacres Hospital‚ Germiston;
  • Life St Dominics Hospital‚ East London;
  • Life Suikerbosrand Hospital‚ Heidelberg;
  • Life West Coast Private Hospital‚ Vredenburg;
  • Lowveld Hospital‚ Nelspruit;
  • Mediclinic Milnerton‚ Cape Town;
  • Mediclinic Panorama‚ Cape Town;
  • Mediclinic Victoria‚ Tongaat;
  • Netcare N1 City Hospital‚ Cape Town;
  • Wilmed Park Private Hospital‚ Klerksdorp; and
  • Zuid-Afrikaans Hospital‚ Pretoria.
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