Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

The Milpark Netcare breast cancer unit has become the third breast care centre outside the US to be fully accredited by the National Accreditation Programme for Breast Centres (NAPBC), administered by the American College of Surgeons. Breast cancer is the most common kind of cancer affecting South African women, along with lung and colorectal cancer.

With 114 hospitals and more than 13,300 beds, Netcare operates the largest private hospital networks in SA and the UK. Its market cap is just more than R38.57bn.

Established 16 years ago, the centre in Johannesburg has become the apex of breast cancer treatment in the country. The facility offers world-class care in high-tech facilities for patients.

A breast care centre that attains NAPBC accreditation is one that has shown to have a strong commitment to give its patients the best shot at beating and surviving breast cancer. Endorsement is given to hospitals that voluntarily open themselves up for review by a panel of judges and the Netcare centre achieved 100% compliance against 29 standards.

Specialist surgeon Dr Carol Ann Benn said Dr Benn said the accreditation protected patients from the health system that didn’t always provide the best care for patients, "giving patients absolute certainty that things are being done correctly because of the multidisciplinary approach".

She added that it also brought a cost saving element down the line, as patients who were treated properly the first time, were less likely to return.

The standard of leadership, multi-disciplinary management of clinical cases, research, community outreach, professional education and quality outcomes are assessed in the accreditation process.

The NAPBC said its accreditation benefits patients by ensuring they have access to comprehensive care, a multi-disciplinary team approach to co-ordinate the best treatment options for individuals, information about ongoing clinical trials, and treatments that adhere to international standards.

Noeleen Phillipson, oncology executive at Netcare, said the accreditation was a remarkable feat that was achieved thanks to the dedicated team at Netcare Milpark Hospital which has, under the leadership of Benn, worked many long hours to reach this goal.

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