After 43 years as a much-loved GP in our community, Dr Michael Westbrook hands over the reins to Dr Konrad Dorfling at Village Healthcare Family Practice in Kloof.
Dr Mike Westbrook started as a general practitioner in 1978, when he joined Dr Tickey Hallot and Dr Don Raw at their surgery on 8 Meller Road in Pinetown. “I had a happy 17 years with two wonderful GPs and friends in a very busy practice,” he says. “We did a variety of surgical and gynaecological procedures, as well as anaesthetics at the Pinetown Surgical Clinic – above Ben Joubert’s Pharmacy in Hill Street.”
Dr Westbrook adds that they also worked a lot at St Mary’s Mission Hospital – a trappist monastery in Mariannhill – delivering babies, doing bigger procedures in the theatres, and assisting surgeons, gynaecologists, etc. “All of this has sadly disappeared, as GPs are no longer invited to assist at any surgery,” he explains.
“I relocated to Loudon Park, 8 St Mary’s Road, Kloof – a beautiful office block in park-like surroundings, with security and designated parking – in 1996,” says Dr Westbrook, who embraced the change after 17 wonderful years in Pinetown.
A few years later, in 2000, Village Healthcare was formed – comprising GP Dr Mike Westbrook, chiropractor Dr Jacqui Paton, and physiotherapist Caron Mackenzie. “Subsequently Eileen Murray joined Caron. Later Dr Jackie Paton emigrated to the UK, and Dr Shoshanna Dunn has taken over the chiropractic practice,” adds Dr Westbrook.“I will be retiring at the end of March, and Dr Konrad Dorfling will be taking over,” he says.
“Nothing else will change; the files all remain, as will the staff. I am privileged to have had a wonderful relationship with thousands of my patients, and will be sad to leave.”
Dr Dorfling wishes Dr Westbrook all the best and is looking forward to serving the community. “Mike has practiced at his current location for 26 years and will be missed by his patients,” he says – adding that he knows that Mike is an avid golfer, and hopes he will enjoy many a game now that he will have more time on his hands.
Dr Dorfling moved from Everton to Ladysmith in 1971 and completed school there. He obtained his medical degree at the University of Free State in 1989, before doing his housemanship in Giyani, Gazankulu. After two years of military service at 5 SAI Battalion in Ladysmith, he did a stint at KwaMagwaza Hospital in Melmoth. He then did three years at Lesley Williams Memorial Mining Hospital in Carletonville, before 26 years at Entabeni Hospital’s trauma unit.
On April 1 he starts at Village Healthcare in Kloof. “I plan to be available for extended consulting hours, as well as after hours. I would like to put my emergency medicine experience to use by attending to IOD patients, and to assist schools in the vicinity with sports events – such as the Long Walk at Thomas More College,” says Dr Dorfling. “I hope to remain for a very long time, possibly until the patients will have to start taking care of me,” he laughs.
FOR MORE INFO:
- 3 Loudon Park, 8 St Mary’s Rd, Kloof
- 031 764 4277