Cape Town – The new Mitchells Plain Hospital, built at a cost of more than half a billion rand, will receive its first patients on Monday morning.
Patients will be transferred from Carnation and Magnolia wards at Lentegeur Hospital to start the gradual phasing-in at the new facility, which has 11 wards and 270 beds.
Emergency and walk-in patients will be treated from October, and the official opening of the facility will take place on November 12.
On Wednesday, Health MEC Theuns Botha and Transport and Public Works MEC Robin Carlisle toured the hospital. “The last new hospital was built in 1974. New hospitals were not built and to a large extent we as government neglected to build new facilities,” said Botha.
Construction of the hospital began in January 2010 and its completion was delayed after a fire broke out at the emergency centre last year.
“This is a full-package district hospital. There are three aspects that I hope would become a legacy at the hospital,” Botha said.
“Firstly, there must be a change in the experience that people have at the hospital in this area. I hope people would say that their experience has improved. We also need to address the wellness of our society and have to invest in preventing illness. It must become a place of healing.”
Botha said the past inequalities needed to be addressed.
“This region needed 1 300 beds but only had 600 beds. Together with the completion of the Khayelitsha Hospital and now the Mitchells Plain Hospital, we have made major strides towards better health services for our communities,” he said.
“It is in line with our aim to establish a health facility within easy travelling distance, whether it be close to a train station or a taxi rank.”
This must become a monument and make people proud, he added.
Construction costs amounted to R533 million while R99m was spent on equipment.
Carlisle said the construction of the hospital would make a huge contribution to the local community and economy.
“Life is not as hard in Mitchells Plain as in other areas, but life is still hard,” he said.
“After all the years of oppression there is no better commodity to give than dignity.” He added that the project secured the services of 42 local contractors from Mitchells Plain and 28 from Philippi.
A total of 5 622 jobs were provided on-site as well as management training.