Updated 04 November 2015

Patients vote on SA’s best hospitals

Discovery Health has released patients' ratings of SA's private hospitals – information that was gathered over a number of years.

Only two of the 20 private hospitals voted by patients as the best in the country are in Gauteng. One is in Mpumalanga, and one in North West. 

Nine are in the Western Cape, five in KwaZulu-Natal and two in the Free State. 

Average of 58%

This information, based on patients' experiences and gathered by Discovery Health over a number of years has only now been made available to the public.  

Members of Discovery Health's medical schemes can check private hospitals' scores on Discovery's website and compare hospitals with each other.  

Read: Just hope you never have to go to KwaMhlanga Hospital

The country's 20 top private hospitals, based on Discovery members' experiences were revealed on Tuesday.  

The private hospitals achieved a joint average of 58%.   

The merit list doesn't take the hospitals' clinical results like disease rate, death rate or adverse occurrences into account. There are plans to include these factors as well.  

More than 200 000 members of  Discovery Medical Scheme took part in the survey over the last five years.

Members receive the survey form after their release from hospital, and more than 20% complete it, according to Dr Jonathan Broomberg, CEO of Discovery Health.  

More patient orientated

Earlier this year the results were only supplied to the hospitals involved.  

On Tuesday, at Discovery's quality discussion in Johannesburg, experts agreed that changes are needed to make South Africa's medicare system more patient orientated.

Read: Hospital workers spread germs

Professor Lizo Mazwai, chairperson of the Office of Health Standards Compliance, said that he routinely comes across patients who, after their hospital stay, complain about a lack of care  and empathy and the negative attitude of staff members.   

Patients, however, do not feel free to complain to the hospital because they are intimidated by the environment and are scared that it might lead to even worse care. 

Dr Roshini Moodley Naidoo, head of quality of care at Discovery Health, says that by sharing information about hospitals with the public gives patients a platform where they can verbalise their needs. 

The chance to learn and improve

The aim is not to condemn, but to give hospitals the chance to learn and improve, she said.  

Dr Stefan Smuts, clinical head of Mediclinic in Southern Africa says they fully support the initiative.  

“It is a reasonably transparent indication of what patients think of hospitals," he says. According to him it also strengthens hospitals' responsibility to strive for the best possible care.  

Read: Follow-up keeps high-risk patients out of hospital

The survey is based on the American "Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Sys­tems", which is widely used.

The current information on the website is the result of the 2014 survey.  

According to the survey, SA's 20 best hospitals are:

- Life Mount Edgecombe Hospital in Kwazulu-Natal

- Life Rosepark Hospital in Bloemfontein

- Kuils River Private Hospital in Cape Town

- N1 City Hospital in Cape Town

- Melomed Bellville Hospital in Cape Town

- Ethekwini Hospital & Heart Centre in Durban

- Hillcrest Private Hospital in Durban

- Lowveld Hospital in Nelspruit

- Midvaal Private Hospital in Vereeniging

- Wilmed Park Private Hospital in Klerksdorp

- Zuid-Afrikaans Hospital in Pretoria

- Mediclinic Hoogland in Bethlehem

- Mediclinic Milnerton in Cape Town

- Mediclinic Panorama in Cape Town

- Mediclinic Stellenbosch

- Mediclinic Cape Gate in Cape Town

- Mediclinic Hermanus

- Mediclinic Howick

- Mediclinic Louis Leipoldt in Cape Town

- Mediclinic Victoria in KwaZulu-Natal

(Article by Rochélle Human – translated from Afrikaans)

Read more:

Choosing your hospital

12 scary hospital stats

Patients worry over their safety at new Gauteng hospital


Live healthier

Lifestyle »

E-cigarettes: Here are five things to know

E-cigarettes have become hugely popular in the past decade, but a rash of vaping-linked deaths and illnesses in the US is feeding caution about a product that's already banned in some places.

Allergy »

Ditch the itch: Researchers find new drug to fight hives

A new drug works by targeting an immune system antibody called immunoglobulin E, which is responsible for the allergic reaction that causes hives.