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Cutting-edge robotic surgery might not immediately come to mind when one thinks of public hospitals, but in a first for public healthcare in South Africa, such systems are being used at two hospitals in the Western Cape.

The da Vinci Xi systems enable surgeons to control operations from a console – steering three arms with steel “hands” equipped with tiny surgical instruments, as well as a fourth arm bearing a video camera (the laparoscope). The system translates a surgeon’s hand…

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