News agency, Cape Town, South Africa
Sunday September 15th 2019

Atlantis hospital gets much-needed revamp

Atlantis hospital will receive a major upgrade

After decades of working in sub-standard conditions at Atlantis’ Wesfleur Hospital; nurses, doctors and pharmacists are overjoyed at the provincial department of health’s provision of R14million to reconstruct the 35-year-old facility.

The hospital serves a population of 150 000 people from Atlantis and surrounding communities including Witsand and Frankdale informal settlements, as well as people from Melkbosstrand, Philadelphia and Darling.

From the total funding, R11 million would be used to upgrade the emergency unit, with renovations beginning next year.

As from Friday last week, R3m worth of renovations to waiting areas, ventilation systems, floors and ceilings, emergency exit and passage doors, cupboards and toilets and the expansion of the pharmacy which operates in a confined area, began.

During a visit to inspect the upgrading work on Tuesday, MEC for health Theuns Botha said there had been a “significant increase” in emergency and day patient numbers which necessitated a renovation of the emergency unit, with all construction expected to be completed by the end of 2014.

A senior nurse at the hospital, who asked not to be named as she is not allowed to discuss hospitals matters directly with the media, said the funding was most welcome as the hospital staff worked under difficult circumstances in cramped working areas.

“The place is cramped. It’s small for the high work load. It’s (the funding) definitely going to improve our working conditions,” said the nurse.

She said the 24-hour hospital’s emergency unit treated up to 4000 emergency cases a month, yet the emergency unit was so confined that infants needing emergency medical attention were treated alongside adults with stab wounds or car accident victims.

City of Cape Town health portfolio committee chair Cynthia Clayton agreed that the conditions at the hospital were unacceptable.

Clayton, who is DA ward councillor for Atlantis Ward 29 and has lived in the suburb for 32-years, said the nurses at the hospital worked under difficult circumstances and operated “outside their scope of practising”.

She said the hospital’s pharmacy, waiting area and trauma unit were very small yet dealt with hundreds of people everyday.

She said for example a child being treated for asthma was being attended to in the trauma unit next gang members who had been stabbed.

“It (the funding) has brought excitement to the Atlantis community and surrounding areas,” said Clayton. —Peter Luhanga

Tags: atlantis, Cynthia Clayton, health department, Theuns Botha, Wesfleur Hospital

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