Every other day Isuzu Southern Kings team doctor, Dr Gershwin Kortje’s focus is primarily on the wellbeing of the team’s players, but that has changed over the past few days.

With the global community facing the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr Kortje has dusted off his white coat, and put himself in the frontline to focus on the medical needs of the South African community during this trying period.

He joins a line of unsung heroes who fall under the “essential services” category, assisting the SA government and citizens in ensuring access to basic and critical needs.
“At the moment, obviously, it’s tough and difficult being – in most cases – the first person in contact with a patient,” Dr Kortje reflected.

“Having to be up close to a patient to examine them is a lot of the times intimidating. However, it is something we cannot shy away from, as not every case is a COVID-19 case.

“I realised in the midst of all this that there are people in real need of medical services which is not COVID-19 related, therefore people still rely on us as doctors to assist them to the best of our abilities.”

Despite the widespread fear of contracting the COVID-19 virus, particularly with medical personnel being more likely to be exposed, Dr Kortje is confident that medical practitioners are taking necessary precautions during this period.

“We try to take precautions as far as possible to protect ourselves & colleagues from unnecessary exposure, but unfortunately this is not an ideal or perfect world or situation and makes possible exposure almost inevitable.

Dr Kortje, and all those who have been of service to their communities during this period, ought to be proud of their selfless service – which the Isuzu Southern Kings team doctor refers to as a “satisfying” time.

“Being able to help and serve in this time is one of the most satisfying times in my career,: he says.

“I will continue to play my part and give my best to serve the community.”