Equra Health PTY LTD and the Lenmed Royal Hospital and Heart Centre recently took delivery of the Elekta Synergy Platform, a radiation therapy treatment system that will revolutionise oncology in the Northern Cape.

This state-of-the-art system will be the first of its kind in the area, and the only one of its kind in the province, transforming oncology care for patients and practitioners.

“There are currently no radiotherapy services in the Northern Cape. Patients have to travel to Bloemfontein or Johannesburg to receive treatment which impacts on their health, outcomes and finances,” said Regional Business Manager at Medical Specialist Holdings (MSH), Jennifer Fuller.

“The delivery of the Elekta Synergy Platform is an extraordinary achievement – patients will be able to receive treatment for a variety of cancers such as breast cancer right through to skin cancer, cervical cancer and prostate cancer as of January 2018,” continued Fuller.

The Elekta Synergy Platform offers high-end treatment modalities such as 3D conformal, 2D real-time imaging and intensity modulated Radiotherapy (IMRT). It also features a fully integrated 160 multileaf collimator, which ensures the beam is shaped to the shape and size of the tumour and spares healthy tissue around it.

“The primary goal for Equra Health is to have an oncology footprint in all nine provinces. To achieve this vision, we need to forge long-term partnerships with the right people and organisations. It has taken time to move into this area as we had to find a partner that understood our ethos and matched our commitment to health,” said Fuller.

“The Lenmed Royal Hospital and Heart Centre was a superb fit, allowing us to create an exceptional oncology facility and gave us the opportunity to partner with the three independent oncologists on site,” continued Fuller.

Specialist Clinical and Radiation Oncologists, Dr Theo Smalberger, Dr Sumayyah Ibrahim and Dr Daniel Osei-Fofie will be consulting out of the hospital and collaborating with Equra Health and Lenmed to provide a full oncology service to patients.

“Having a state-of-the-art oncology facility is a great step forward in providing a top-class healthcare service for cancer patients in the Northern Cape. I am looking forward to this wonderful opportunity,” said Dr Smalberger.

“At long last oncology patients in the Northern Cape have access to much needed, long awaited radiotherapy treatment and I am more than excited for this new service that will shortly be available in Kimberley,”‎ said  Dr Osei-Fofie.

Equra Health currently owns and operates 32 high energy external beam radiation treatment machines (linear accelerators), and is currently present in eight of the nine provinces in SA; Kimberley will ensure all nine provinces are covered.

“The machine can treat between 40 and 50 cancer patients a day. For those patients who have had to travel to Bloemfontein or Johannesburg, this will change the way they recover and heal. Often, they have to spend four to six weeks in these cities, away from their support networks and their jobs. This can impact on their outcomes as they don’t have moral support, and many of these patients don’t speak English so the experience is even more emotionally draining,” concluded Fuller.

The Elekta Synergy Platform is set to be operational in early 2018. Equra Health aims to work with local and provincial government so that state patients can gain access to the facility, receiving much-needed care closer to home.

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