We spoke to Elmarie Bouwer on her experience at the Steve Biko Academic Hospital, and the most amazing things she has been up to since then!

She just had an amazing experience, all round. After her stay, it became clear to her that the public do not understand what kind of immense effort goes in to running an academic hospital, and so she decided to launch a campaign.

“I was in the very privileged position of being a patient for major surgery at the Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria mid April 2016.”

What an amazing experience – I can write a book on it, and the experience will certainly form part of a book I am busy writing.

The surgeons are world class, have the absolute well-being of their patients at heart – while they work for a salary – as they do it for the love of their patients and their work. As the one surgeon said to me “I do this in order to make the lives of my patients easier”.

They literally do surgeries in shifts, throughout the night as well, in order to keep up with the immense demand. They cannot get ahead – the waiting lists for some surgeries are 3+ years – while the patients live in pain.”

“Gratitude, Motivation & Compassion” in Government Hospitals.


Gratitude for what the doctors and surgeons do. Motivation for the nursing staff. Compassion with the patients.

Phase 1 of the campaign is an annual dinner and show, for the surgeons, anaesthetist and physio therapist – voted by the patients. This year it will be the Yellow / Green Team and their spouses. The best performing nursing sister, nurse and cleaner as well as their spouses will be invited to join the doctors at the dinner and show. The idea is that patients will vote throughout the year, for their best performing medical teams and staff, to join this elite event.

Phase 2 will focus on making life easier for the patients, before, during and after surgery. We are aiming to have a positive impact on the long waiting lists as well. Restaurant owners, various other companies and members of the public will be invited to participate in this campaign e.g. sponsors for outfits and hair dos for the nursing staff and spouses for the evening. Shuttles to get the guests to the venue. Flowers, small gifts and more.

This campaign may grow into a national project, across government hospitals in all provinces.

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Brent Lindeque
About the Author

Brent Lindeque is the founder and man in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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