Local Organising Committee



Marlice van Dyk

Chairperson SWAAC ELSO Conference

Director Netcare Unitas ECMO Centre 

Anaesthesiologist and Intensivist

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Dr Marlice van Dyk achieved her M.B. and Ch.B at the University of the Freestate. In 2000 she completed her fellowship at the College of Anaesthetists in the Witwatersrand followed by a fellowship in Intensive Care. More recently, Dr van Dyk obtained her Diploma in Clinical Ultrasound from the University of Melbourne.


Currently practising as a Specialist Anaesthetist and Intensivist, Dr van Dyk’s interests lie in Critical Care. This passion and determination in her field have culminated in Dr van Dyk spearheading the establishment of the ELSO accredited ECMO Centre at NetcareUnitas Hospital. As the director of the ECMO Centre, Dr van Dyk runs numerous training sessions and continues to strive for excellence in this field.

Norbert Welkovics

Co-Chair SWAAC ELSO Conference

Co-Director Netcare Unitas ECMO Centre

General Surgeon and Intensivist

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Dr Welkovics currently holds the position as General Surgeon and Intensivist in Private Practice at Netcare Unitas and Pretoria Urology Hospitals. He obtained his MBChB at Pretoria University in 1992. A brief period as SHO in Accident and Emergency and Orthopedic Surgery in the UK followed after which he joined the Department of General Surgery at the University of Pretoria. He completed his MMed(Chir) as well as FCS in 2002 being awarded the college medal. His training in Critical care was also done at the University of Pretoria and he completed the Certificate in Critical Care in 2005. Since then he was involved in postgraduate training in Surgery and Critical Care on a part-time basis till 2015. He is currently the Trauma Director for Netcare Unitas Hospital as well as co-Director for the Netcare Unitas ECMO Centre and in that capacity is actively involved in continued training at various levels. He is also the Northern Gauteng representative on the Central Council of the Critical Care Societies of Southern Africa as well as the joint representative for Private Practice on the same forum.  His fields of interest include Thyroid surgery, endoscopic hernia repair, advanced ventilation monitoring, critical care, ultrasonography and ECMO.


Marleen Engelbrecht


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Dr Engelbrecht completed her undergraduate medical training MBChB (cum laude) at the University of Pretoria in 1995.  Following which she worked at 1 Military Hospital in Pretoria and then as Medical Officer in Paediatrics from 1997 to 1999.  Dr Engelbrecht went on to specialise in Paediatrics at the University of Pretoria as well as achieving a diploma in Allergology through the College of Medicine SA in 2006. Her career in Private Practice as a general Paediatrician commenced in 2004 at Netcare Unitas Hospital, with a dedicated NICU and PICU as well as a busy Oncology unit with a large number of Haem-Oncology patients.

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Justiaan Swanevelder

Professor, Chair and Head of Department of Anaesthesia and Perioperative Medicine University of Cape Town Health Sciences Faculty Groote Schuur and Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospitals

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Completed undergraduate medical training as well as Specialist training at Tygerberg Hospital, University of Stellenbosch, in South Africa. From 1995 until 2012, Prof Swanevelder consulted at the Glenfield Hospital and the University Hospitals of Leicester in the UK. Focusing mainly on adult and paediatric cardiothoracic anaesthesia, critical care, and perioperative echocardiography.  On Editorial Boards of the Journal of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Anesthesia, Southern African Journal of Anaesthesia and Analgesia, Echo Research and Practice Online Journal, Reviewer for BJA, Paediatric Anaesthesia, SAJAA, and others. Over 85 peer-reviewed published papers and book chapters.  Justiaan Swanevelder is an enthusiast in the field of Transoesophageal (TOE) and Transthoracic (TTE) Echocardiography, and has played a central role in the development of point of care echocardiography and its formal guidelines for practice and accreditation in the United Kingdom, Europe, South Africa and Africa.

Krubin Naidoo

Cardiothoracic Surgeon

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Pieter Scholtz

Cardiothoracic Surgeon

Dr Pieter Scholtz is a Cardiothoracic Surgeon in private practice in Gauteng, South Africa. He has a keen interest in developing technologies and treatment modalities in Cardiothoracic Surgery and ICU Medicine in general and has been involved with ECMO, specifically cannulation, since being accepted as a treatment modality for reversible catastrophic respiratory failure. His cannulation techniques were self-taught and evolved to encompass the wide variety of pathologies treated today as part of the ECMO armamentarium. Dr Scholtz believes that a Cardiac Surgeon’s understanding of the physiology of extracorporeal mechanical oxygenation and cardiovascular support complements the ECMO team in all of its complex variables. Cardiac surgeons, additionally, have all the necessary skills to manage vascular access and possible complications of cannulation.


David Thomson

Consultant in the Division of Critical Care and Department of Surgery, Transplant Unit at the University of Cape Town and Groote Schuur Hospital

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Dr David Thomson is a clinician working in the combined ICU at Groote Schuur Hospital and the Transplant Unit at the University of Cape Town. His interests and research focus on ECMO in developing world situations, Medical education and improving deceased donation systems. Dr Thomson is currently the Director of the ECMO Program at the Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town and is the current president of the South African Transplantation Society. 

Gerda Harris

Clinical Technologist - Cardio-Vascular Perfusion

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Mrs Gerda Harris achieved her National Diploma and started working in private practice at the Morning Side Clinic in January 1986. Gerda has been practising as a Perfusionist for 37 years alongside several surgeons in many fields such as Cardio-Thoracic Surgery, Neurology, Oncology, Vascular and General Surgery to name but a few. In 1994, Gerda became the Chief Perfusionist at Pretoria Academic Hospital where she worked until 2003 when she returned to private practice. Over the last 10 years, Gerda has been a vital part of the ECMO team at Netcare Unitas hospital and supported in numerous training sessions.

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Gail Peggs

Cardiothoracic Recipient Coordinator Transplant, HVAD, ECMO & VHF

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Gail Peggs initially trained as a blood transfusion technician between 1992 and 1993 at what was then South African Blood Transfusion Services.  She left for a year in 1996 to follow her paramedic career in the fire department and then returned to blood transfusion services in 1997 for a year.  In August of 1998, Gail was recruited to work for MedicAir a private Air Ambulance company based in Johannesburg. In December 1999, MedicAir amalgamated with Netcare 911.  Gail then joined the Netcare 911 road operational division and completed her Ambulance Emergency Care course in 2001. She then assisted in the opening of numerous operational bases in the Johannesburg region until she was recruited to work in the Netcare 911 emergency operations center as an Emergency Call Taker, Dispatcher and Team Leader, from 2002 until her return to the road in 2007, when she was invited to join the Netcare 911, Garden City, Paramedical ICU unit. She remained on the unit until 2009, when she transferred to the Netcare Milpark Hospital Emergency Department, to further broaden her experience  In 2012 Gail left to complete her final paramedic qualification, which she did at the end of 2013, while continuing to work part-time in the Emergency Department and re-joined the Netcare team in June 2014, again on the paramedical ICU operation, this time as the senior paramedic and to launch a new ICU ambulance team in the western region of Gauteng.  In 2017 she was invited to join the Netcare Johannesburg transplant team, assisting with the HVAD and ECMO program. She is very passionate about organ donation and transplantation 

Meet the Local Organising Committee