Sister Basha Medical Practice
In July 2020, right in the middle of a raging pandemic, nursing sister Basha Swaratlhe-Tlhapane took the plunge by establishing Sister Basha Medical Practice in Cape Town, a health-care facility that caters for patients from all backgrounds, to offer them holistic health treatment. She’s living proof that there are business opportunities even in the health-care sector. This is after several years of battling to realize this dream due to many challenges. “Like any entrepreneur, I struggled to secure start-up capital with financial institutions,” she says. She ended up having to work hospital shifts for seven months, parallel to running a practice, which provides affordable health care for acute minor illnesses and primary health care using cost-effective, latest quality equipment and materials. Sister Basha attributes this hardship, which began in 2007, to several reasons. “I have never received government support, and sourcing corporate sponsors yielded almost close to zero benefits. It hasn’t been easy and nothing ever came easy for me.” Despite the challenges, Sister Basha Medical Practice has broken barriers in South Africa’s nursing profession. It is the first establishment of its kind to be founded by a registered nurse, and among the services it renders are: IV therapy, drawing bloods, phototherapy, taking samples, scheduling pediatric surgeries, weight management, rapid Covid-19 testing, and HIV counselling and testing. Of course, this involves working in partnership with medical professionals in various disciplines. “We aim to bridge the gap financially for patients who are in need of primary health care and cannot afford the basic general practitioner fee. This allows us to cater for patients of all socio-economic classes and those with or without medical aids,” Sister Basha says.