On a daily basis I am contacted, either telephonically or via email, with regard to where to go when there is no medical insurance, especially for Johannesburg. A lot of the calls are from patients who hail from private practices and want to help a friend or a colleague. Many more are women who have no idea where to turn to, so contact the Netcare Breast Care Centre for advice. The good news is there is help for everyone with a breast problem, no matter what their financial circumstances!!
Earlier this year a wonderful gentleman, Mr Heuer, supported his wife through her diagnosis and treatment for breast cancer, which took place at Milpark Hospital. Just a few months later he called me to say one of his female colleagues at his work had now also been diagnosed with breast cancer, was very scared and had no medical aid. He wanted to help and needed to know the route he should take to get her the treatment she needed. After being pointed in the right direction, Mr Heuer has taken this lady to every doctor’s appointment and chemo treatment!
In central Johannesburg, the Breast Unit at the Helen Joseph Hospital can be found for ladies with breast worries. It is situated at the top of the concrete ramp in Perth Road, Auckland Park. I tell patients that it is an ‘oasis’ in the middle of a desert! It is a well-run multidisciplinary unit that follows international protocol.
If you suspect you have a breast problem and have not seen a doctor, go along to the breast clinic on a Wednesday and open a file between 07h00 and 10h00. You will be seen shortly thereafter and the appropriate treatment/ tests will be organised for you. If you have previously seen a doctor and have been given a diagnosis, you will need to attend the Breast Clinic that is held on the Thursday, arrive between 07h00 and 10h00 to open a file.
This Clinic is run as an open clinic, so there are no appointments, it’s pretty much run on a ‘first come, first served basis’. This will mean delays!! Please be patient!!! The treatment you receive will be worth the wait!
Written by Julie Belloni.