Orthopaedic surgeon, Dr David Barnes, whose career in medicine spanned more than 40 years, was awarded the prestigious Christiaan Barnard Memorial Award by Netcare at a recent event held in his honour, for his outstanding contribution to the profession.
Speaking at the event, Sandile Mbele, Netcare’s South West regional director, said that Barnes, who practised at Netcare Union Hospital in Alberton for more than 25 years, had left an indelible mark on the medical and medico-legal fields.
“Dr Barnes joined Netcare Union Hospital in 1993. He touched many lives and was greatly respected by patients, colleagues and staff alike. Dr Barnes retires after an illustrious career and is a most worthy recipient of this prestigious award,” added Mbele.
Founded in 2011, the Christiaan Barnard Memorial Award, an initiative of Netcare in association with the Christiaan Barnard Foundation, pays tribute to doctors who practice at healthcare facilities within the Netcare group and who have demonstrated leadership in their specific field whilst contributing to the advancement of the medical profession.
“I feel so overwhelmed in receiving this award,” said Dr Barnes. “I feel other colleagues of mine deserve it more than I, but it has been an enormous pleasure to be part of the Netcare Union Hospital team all of these years.”
Dr Barnes, whose interests in orthopaedic medicine include trauma, prosthetics and general ortho-surgery, was awarded a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB) degree from the University of Pretoria in 1974 and a Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons (FRCS) from the University of Edinburgh in 1978. He was registered as an orthopaedic surgeon by the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) in 1982, and completed a Certificate in Medicine and Law through the University of South Africa (Unisa) and the University of Pretoria in 2005.
Dr Barnes’ varied and highly colourful career commenced in July 1974 when he was employed as an orthopaedic medical officer at Kaplan hospital in Rehovot, Israel. He was a consultant orthopaedic surgeon at Natalspruit Hospital from 1978 until June 1984 and completed a stint as a consultant orthopaedic surgeon at James Paget NHS hospital in Norfolk, England, in 2003. Dr Barnes was in private practice in Johannesburg from 1984 before joining the orthopaedic team at Netcare Union Hospital in 1993.
Dr Barnes was Chairperson of the infection control committee at Netcare Union Hospital from 2009 until December 2015, when he retired. He was also deeply interested in the medico-legal field, and was instructed by both plaintiff and defendant attorneys in medico-legal matters. He also served as honorary secretary and vice-president of the South African Medico Legal Society.
The awards function was held at the University of the Witwatersrand’s Medical School campus, and was attended by more than 50 guests including Dr Barnes’ wife, Karen, son and brothers.
The general manager of Netcare Union Hospital, Esme Abrahams, said that Dr Barnes, a father of three adult children and an ace golfer, was a popular and highly esteemed surgeon at the hospital. “He greatly assisted in developing the strong orthopaedic team that exists at the hospital today, and will be sorely missed by everyone at the facility,” she concluded.Netcare material