One Point Three Million Rand Sonar Machine for Province's 'Heart' Hospital
Following negotiations on behalf of the Western Cape Health Minister, Theuns Botha, with the private sector to acquire more medical equipment for Western Cape public health facilities, RentWorks donated a heart sonar machine to Groote Schuur hospital. The machine was officially handed over to Minister Botha at Groote Schuur hospital this morning.
Valued at one point three (R1.3 m) million rand, the heart sonar machine will be used at Groote Schuur hospital's outpatient cardiology clinic. The machine assesses all aspects of the functions of the heart such as vascular tension and circulation. The cardiology department consults about five thousand (5000) patients per year, and conducts about one thousand five hundred (1500) ultrasounds per year.
The donation came about after negotiations with Rentworks, a division of the RMB Group that facilitates asset rentals. Several issues were discussed on ways and means for the Department to expand the acquisition of equipment through alternative channels other than outright purchase. RentWorks offered the Philips heart sonar machine as a donation to the Department of Health. Philips is sponsoring the maintenance of the unit, valued at ninety thousand rand (R90 000) per annum.
The Department evaluated the machine specifications as well as the profile of heart patients, and decided that Groote Schuur hospital would be the best suited facility to make use of the technology.
Minister Botha said it was appropriate for Groote Schuur hospital's patients to benefit from the donation, because of the hospital's historic association as the world's first heart transplant, which was done here in 1967. He thanked RentWorks and Philips for their contribution to health infrastructure. He referred to the Western Cape government's strategic objectives of Increasing Wellness. "Government is unable to carry the costs of health on our own. We have called on the private sector to assist us in our quest to improve service delivery throughout the Western Cape, and they have responded overwhelmingly. I will remember 2010 as the year of donations and hand-overs. It has been a humbling and rewarding experience," he said.
RentWorks CEO Mike Chapman said: "It is not often, that a company is able to make a difference to a large number of South Africans. So RentWorks is indeed privileged, that in conjunction with the Western Cape Department of Health and one the great hospitals of the world, Groote Schuur, we are able to donate a machine that will continue to give the public of the Western Cape, access to world-class cardiology diagnostics".
Amanda Brinkmann, who heads Strategic Partnerships for Western Cape Government, and negotiated the donation, commented: "These are the kinds of donations that go to the heart of our needs for improved resources and infrastructure. We take cognisance of the fact that companies are in business to make a profit and that remains their primary focus. Companies are however showing more and more ' heart' by putting their CSI funding to work where it will make a real difference to the people of our province. Both business and philanthropic partnerships between government and the private sector are vital to assist government to fulfil its mandate."
Minister of Health Western Cape