Available at GCIS provincial offices, GCIS district offices & Thusong centres in your area!

Patients flock to the new Natalspruit Hospital

Written by More Matshediso
A new hospital, launched two months ago, has brought much-needed health care services closer to Vosloorus and neighbouring communities.

The hospital moved from its old building in Katlehong to the new one in Vosloorus, and it came with a certain number of patients.

“The number of patients is increasing drastically because the hospital is even closer to patients who used to go to Bertha Gxowa district hospital in Germiston,” said Acting CEO Dr Patricia Afrika.

At the moment, the state-of-the-art hospital is taking referrals from clinics, community healthcare centres and district hospitals, serving Thokoza, Vosloorus, Katlehong, Magugala Heights, Zonkizikwe, Phola Park, Palm Ridge, Eden Park, Germiston and Leondale.

The R1,7 billion hospital took eight years to build, is furnished with 821 beds and spans an area of over 7 000m2. The building of the hospital created 4 950 jobs, and 16 local contractors were employed in different trades.

It offers services such as family medicine, 24-hour casualty, medico-legal, obstetrics and gynaecological, mortuary, radiography, and an eye nose and throat clinic, among others.

The majority of the equipment found in the hospital is new, and its costs sums up to R164 million.

Nako Semousu, 48, of Palm Ridge told Vuk’uzenzele that he was born in the old hospital in Katlehong and has always received health services from there, but he now feels like he is under private health care at the new facilities.

Semousu, who had been admitted at the hospital for almost a month at the time, said he was happy with the care given to him.

“I am happy about the services offered to me here. The only problem I have is that we [patients] don’t have enough blankets and hospital gowns,” he said.

“In terms of getting my treatment, the hospital is number one. We also eat well. The nurses are very helpful. I don’t see any other problems…” he added.

Funeka James, 53, who was also admitted at the hospital, said she had been struggling to get proper health care back in her home town Qunu in the Eastern Cape.

“I came to Johannesburg under very difficult circumstances. I came here very ill. My children told me that there were hospitals in the city where I could receive proper health care,” said James, who had been lying on the hospital bed for four days prior to the interview.

“I am well looked after here. I came in very weak but now I feel better. My stomach was swollen, but now it is flattening again,” she added.

Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi said the equipment found in Natalspruit Hospital was previously found in private hospitals only.

The hospital also has six operating theatres, a mammography unit -- which will help in speeding up the diagnosis of breast cancer, among others.

Minister Motsoaledi said he would make sure that health infrastructure projects were complete within three years.

“The next hospital that we are going to build will be Soshanguve Hospital in Pretoria, and we are going to take 36 months to build it… nothing more,” said the Minister.

The head of the emergency Emergency department at the hospital, Doctor Lindy Falscher, said among the world-class equipment found in the hospital was the Lodox [X-ray] machine and the CT scanner, which help save lives of trauma patients.

“The Lodox machine shows every fractured bone in the patient’s body within 30 seconds, unlike the ordinary X-ray, which sometimes required patients to go through multiple series screening which would last for about 10 minutes,” said Falscher.

“Previously, we had patients dying in the X-ray department,” she said.

She said the CT scanner, which is used in the Radiography department, looks into other structures of the body beyond the bones.

Daisy Chauke, Head of radiography, added that the CT scanner was a 64 multi-slice, whereas the old scanner from the old hospital only showed 16 slices and took about 10 minutes per slice.

“We use it to have a finer detail of which the doctor will be able to diagnose properly,” Chauke said.

The CT scanner also shows bleeding and abnormalities in the patient’s body.

She added that the radiography department had expanded and will be employing more staff.

“At the moment we only have 16 radiographers, excluding myself,” she said.

The hospital also has a Patient Archive Communication (PAC) system which it never had in the old Natalspruit, which keeps records of patients information and images for easy access by doctors.

The community of Vosloorus and surrounding areas now has access to a world-class health facility.