Jun 2012

Health- A shot in the arm for Western Cape healthcare


Healthcare in Cape Town’s Khayelitsha area has just entered a new era with the recently opened 240-bed Khayelitsha Hospital. This modern facility provides quality healthcare to as many as 1,5 million people.



Finally, after a lifetime of travelling to distant hospitals, the people of Khayelitsha have access to a hospital in their immediate vicinity that will compare to the best in the world, says Western Cape Health MEC Theuns Botha.

Botha, who was talking at the official opening of the Khayelitsha Hospital, said this marked a milestone in improved service delivery in the Western Cape.

“This hospital is one of many interventions undertaken by the Western Cape government to overcome the legacy of our tragic past so that all people in the province can progressively and tangibly realise the attainment of their rights and human dignity,” said Premier Helen Zille at the opening.

The hospital cost R632 million and can be expanded to accommodate 390 beds from the current 240, should the need arise. It is expected to significantly lighten the load of the city’s overburdened GF Jooste and Tygerberg hospitals.


Photo caption: After unveiling the hospital’s plaque, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi and Premier Helen Zille welcomed the first set of twins born at the hospital, Asive and Abenathi Futshane, and their mother, Ncumisa Futshane. Born on 6 March 2012, each twin sported a white T-shirt bearing one half of the provincial government’s slogan, “Better Together”.


Khayelitsha is the first hospital in the Western Cape to have an e-filing content management system to help staff and medical practitioners access patient folders electronically. This will significantly reduce waiting times for patients.

The hospital also offers:

• In-patient services such as surgical, medical, paediatric, obstetrics and overnight beds

• a medical day ward, predominantly for antiretroviral (ARV) referrals

• a large accident and emergency unit, which is 30 per cent larger than that of a standard district hospital trauma unit, due to the high incidence of trauma and homicide in the area

• a large maternity ward, 30 per cent larger than that of a standard district hospital trauma unit, due to the high population growth and birth rate in the area.

• an EMS/ambulance station with heli-port that will serve as the divisional headquarters of the Khayelitsha sub-district and Helderberg basin, with a fleet of 11 ambulances and 110 staff members to operate the ambulance services for the area.

• a nursery and kangaroo mother care facility at the obstetrics unit.

The Michael Mapongwana Community Health Centre (CHC), Site B CHC, Nolungile CHC and smaller clinics in the Khayelitsha area will continue to render a health service to the community and surrounds, but will refer patients to Khayelitsha Hospital when required. Patients who require more specialized or advanced levels of care will be referred to the Tygerberg Hospital.


Conservation and comfort

The new Khayelitsha Hospital is a “green” building and has received a Level 3 accreditation in terms of carbon footprint.

Emphasis was placed on energy conservation and low maintenance materials, which will contribute towards reducing its running costs.

The design also places emphasis on the comfort and experience of patients. The key structuring element is a network of courtyard spaces, each within its own character and identity, and drawing extensively from the inputs of local artists.

For more information, call the Western Cape Department of Health on: 021 483 3235 

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