New hospital for Khayelitsha
STAFF are preparing the new Khayelitsha District Hospital and testing the systems for when the doors to all sections open to the public on March 1.
Last week, the hospital was targeted by protesters who complained that not enough Khayelitsha residents had been given jobs there.
But this did not stop its surgical and medical wards from opening quietly this week.
The hospital, which health authorities hope will ease the burden on other facilities in surrounding areas, has been described by some medical staff as “more beautiful than some of the bigger private hospitals in the province”.
During a Cape Argus visit to the state-of-the-art building, medical staff were not only caring for the first few patients admitted to the surgical and medical wards, but unpacking equipment.
The hospital has a sophisticated 47-bed trauma unit; fully secured medical wards and obstetrics unit; and four operating theatres for acute surgery, Caesarean sections and elective surgery. The hospital will be the first district hospital in the province to have an electronic content management system – patients’ folders are loaded into the system electronically, allowing medical staff in other facilities to view it.
The facility has a digital X-ray system, which means medics will be moving away from wet X-rays that use chemicals to process images. The hospital CEO, Dr Anwar Kharwa, said this would allow X-rays to be sent electronically from the hospital to other health facilities.
Dr Javed Sayed, who will be working at the hospital, described it as being on a par with some private hospitals.
Patients are also impressed.
Sakhiwo Sitshikiza, 28, of Harare, who is recovering after being attacked with a golf club by intruders in his home last month, said although he would like to go home, the new hospital had made his stay pleasant.
“I’m not only close to my family, but it feels like I’m in a private facility,” Sitshikiza said. “I hope it’s not something that will be temporary… all patients would love to get this kind of treatment. I hope they keep things like this,” he said.
On February 1, the trauma unit is due to open its doors to the public, while patients from the area who are in Tygerberg Hospital will be moved to the new hospital.