Updated 04 April 2016

Shorter waits for hip and knee surgery patients

Groote Schuur Hospital and Unipalm have joined forces to help patients that need knee or hip surgery by alleviating long waiting periods.


There are 1200 confirmed cases of patients currently on the waiting list for hip and knee surgery in the Western Cape.

Groote Schuur Hospital has gone into a partnership with Unipalm to help patients who are in need of this particular surgery. Unipalm was started in 2002 as a broad based economic empowerment company and today is regarded as one of the most successful BEE companies in South Africa.

In April 2014 Unipalm engaged with the Groote Schuur Hospital Facilities Board, MedMetrics, SA Biomedical and Advanced Orthopaedics to help alleviate the long waiting period for hip and knee surgery, including the implantation of hip and knee prosthetics. UNIPALM, in terms of its Corporate Social Investment Initiatives offered to fund part of the cost of the resources required to perform the hip and knee replacement surgical procedure. The initial trial period was for 10 patients. Surgery was successful  for all the patients who were operated on.

Read: Knee replacement for those with rheumatoid arthritis

Addressing the audience, the Western Cape Minister of Health thanked Unipalm for their initiative and taking on the challenge. "Unipalm's initiative demonstrates that they understand the extent of the service that is required from public hospitals, and that Unipalm has taken a decision to take co-responsibility for the task.

It is only through volunteer investments from our partners in the health sector that we are able to generate a better society. Unipalm's initiative sends the message that they are willing to invest in the health sector in our province, because they trust our governance. “

"Partnerships form an important pillar of Western Cape Government's Better Together philosophy. We believe that it is successful partnerships that strengthen government's service delivery capacity, and potential to grow the economy. Unipalm has recognised this and made a plan to come on board."

Read: Poorer patients often less happy with knee replacement

We look forward to this launch where a long term relationship will be started with Unipalm and Groote Schuur for more people who need the operation. Some of the new patients who will benefit from this new agreement and who will be at the launch after their operation on 24 October are:

Sylvia Abrahams - 76 year old female. Sylvia has been on the waiting list for 2 years. She hopes to be able to walk pain free, do things around the house and even start up her catering business again.

Vernon Scott - 61 year old male. Used to be a very active sportsman and this has been devastating to his lifestyle. Vernon has been on the waiting list for 5 years.

Anthony Phillips
- 65 year old man. He is unable to walk without terrible pain restricting all his activities. Anthony has been on the waiting list for 3 years. Groote Schuur Hospital is proud to make a difference in the Western Cape.

Read more: 

Symptoms of knee pain 

Causes of knee pain 

Symptoms of knee pain


Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Ask the Expert

Arthritis expert

Professor Asgar Ali Kalla completed his MBChB (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) degree in 1975 at the University of Cape Town and his FRCP in 2003 in London. Professor Ali Kalla is the Isaac Albow Chair of Rheumatology at the University of Cape Town and also the Head of Division of Rheumatology at Groote Schuur Hospital. He has participated in a number of clinical trials for rheumatology and is active in community outreach. Prof Ali Kalla is an expert in Arthritis for Health24.

Still have a question?

Get free advice from our panel of experts

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

* You must accept our condition

Forum Rules