New hospital for Mitchell’s Plain

25 September 2009

Construction of a R540-million district hospital in Mitchell’s Plain in Cape Town is expected to start in January 2010 and be completed by December 2012. The hospital will cater for residents living in the Mitchell’s Plain, Philippi and Mandalay areas.

Western Cape health minister Thuns Botha said the government had decided to speed up construction of the hospital, which is expected to cater for more than 430 000 people from a mix of different communities and socio-economic circumstances.

The hospital will have a total of 230 beds, and the design will allow for future expansion to 300 beds. In-patient services will include 60 medical adult beds, 60 surgical adult beds, 60 obstetrics beds, 30 paediatrics beds, 20 overnight beds, an accident and emergency unit, and a general out-patients facility.

Mitchell’s Plain residents currently use a local community health centre, which sees only walk-in cases. Emergency cases are stabilised and sent to hospitals like Groote Schuur and GF Jooste Hospital.

GF Jooste Hospital also carryies a disproportionately large burden of HIV, TB and trauma cases.

The monthly attendance at the emergency centre ranges from 3 000 people in summer to 4 500 people in winter, and approximately 1 200 of these patients are admitted on a monthly basis.

“[This] is a demonstration that this Cabinet recognises the community’s dire need for a hospital in Mitchell’s Plain and the need to lighten the load on GF Jooste Hospital,” Botha said.

“We inherited a legacy which I refer to as ‘apartheid’s vacuum’, a space that left the whole of the Cape Flats without infrastructure. Now it’s our opportunity, and our responsibility, to fill that vacuum.”

SAinfo reporter and BuaNews

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