Western Cape MECs Donald Grant and Nomafrench Mbombo at the sod-turning ceremony on Friday. Picture: Supplied

Cape Town - A new state-of-the-art morgue is set to be built at the entrance to Groote Schuur Hospital and will be replacing the Forensic Pathology Services Laboratory in Salt River. 

The project is set to cost an estimated R281 million and will take approximately 23 months. The project is a partnership between the Western Cape Health Department and the Department of Transport and Public Works.

"The work that we do in health mostly depends on our infrastructure," Western Cape MEC for Health Dr Nomafrench Mbombo said. "Therefore, infrastructure forms part of our priorities as a way to address patient experience and service pressures. Maintained, clean and functional infrastructure are at the core of our agenda. Forensic Pathology Services play a critical role in the delivery of essential services to the people of the Western Cape. 

"When developing these new facilities it is important that we look beyond our 2030 vision which seeks to give access to person-centred and quality care."

The new morgue is expected to provide state-of-the-art services and will provide level 4 forensic services aimed at extracting and analysing. 

The three-storey building will allow better integration of work of the provincial Forensic Pathology Service and the National Health Laboratory Service. 

The facility will include 26 autopsy tables, four dissection suites along with six tables each. There will also be 360 refrigerated body spaces along with 180 admission fridges and 180 dispatch fridges. The building will be able to accommodate 100 visitors. 

The design of the building will incorporate natural lighting through the autopsy rooms and a courtyard that will allow light into the working areas. Some public areas have been designed to create a tranquil environment.

“This 23-month, R281m project will replace the existing Forensic Pathology Laboratory in Salt River which has become outdated and limited in terms of capacity. The project commenced earlier this year, and is expected to be completed early in 2019,” Western Cape Transport and Public Works MEC Donald Grant said.

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Cape Argus