Medical Specialist Holdings (MSH) has achieved a number of cancer treatment milestones in 2018, all of which are positive indicators of greater progress in 2019.

In 2018, we were successful as a group in securing an external financial investor, which will give momentum to our growth strategies both inside South Africa’s borders and into the SADC region.

For MSH, the investors support our strategic renewal programme and the rolling out of advanced new radiation suites. The upgraded equipment installed at facilities such as Wilgers Oncology Centre at the Life Wilgers Hospital in Lynnwood Ridge, Pretoria, and the Vaal triangle Oncology Centre at Mediclinic Vereeniging, for example, will bring new levels of quality cancer care to patients across large geographic areas.

Beginning our cancer treatment planning programme

Over and above our hardware renewal programme, which has sustained its momentum from last year; 2018 started the process of our new treatment planning programme, bringing high-tech, flexible, centralised and remote access cancer treatment planning capabilities to the group. With the number of patients growing continually, this new treatment planning programme gives us a volume advantage – allowing us to treat more patients with the same resources, while also improving the accuracy of treatment and quality of care.

We are particularly excited about progress made in terms of new risk sharing agreements, and moves towards new reimbursement models, whereby income is determined by the quality of care and outcomes. The Group’s forward-thinking approach to alternative reimbursement is now gaining traction among funders, and we look forward to seeing new national emphasis on value-based care models.

Another highlight in 2018 was the highly successful 5th biennial Independent Clinical Oncology Network (ICON) conference in Cape Town during August. Attracting a record number of around 1,000 internal and external stakeholders, the conference addressed the crucial issue of delivering quality treatment at a reasonable cost under the banner ‘Unlocking value: Optimising outcomes’. With expert local and international speakers, as well as representation by the funding, technology and pharmaceutical industries, the success of the conference reaffirms our relationship with external oncology stakeholders across the entire spectrum.

In the year ahead, the MSH group will focus on implementing contracts on alternative reimbursement, continue our renewal programme, and drive further into Africa – taking more support and options for advanced treatment into the SADC region.

The success of the MSH group in 2018, and its prospects for continued progress next year, rests heavily on the efforts of all our stakeholders. From team members working after hours in the various units, through to regional managers and head office managers; our stakeholders continue to go the extra mile to deliver on our mandate to deliver the best possible quality of care for our patients.

We appreciate the efforts of all concerned, and wish you a peaceful holiday season.

Dr. Jacques Snyman, CEO of Medical Specialist Holdings