Department Constructs its First Temporary Emergency Centre
The new Heideveld Emergency Centre at the Heideveld Community Day Centre is the first temporary emergency centre ever constructed by the Department of Transport and Public Works.
The R38m facility opened in July this year to provide emergency care for people previously treated at GF Jooste Hospital. This hospital has been closed to be replaced with a new hospital.
The new facility has all the amenities required in a modern emergency centre, including a 30-bed observation ward and triage area, as well as a Thuthuzela rape crisis centre and an upgraded pharmacy. Patients requiring further hospitalisation will be taken to an appropriate hospital elsewhere. The centre is staffed with personnel from GF Jooste Hospital.
The Department’s project leader, Kareema Osman, said the temporary nature of the facility presented a unique opportunity for exploring alternative modes of construction. “A portal shed structure, clad inside and out with cold-room panels, was designed and constructed in just 17 months. The structure is largely demountable and could be assembled in another location once the new GF Jooste hospital has been built. Most of the key building components were prefabricated off-site, a process which enabled faster production and improved quality,” she said.
The wall panels, fittings, fixtures and even the structure can be deconstructed and relocated when the facility is no longer required in Heideveld. The centre is organised along a central corridor, which separates the primary treatment and resuscitation areas and the observation ward from the service, staff and support areas. High windows allow sunlight into the corridor. The public entrance to the existing community day care centre has been upgraded to link with the emergency centre reception and waiting areas. These overlook a new landscaped courtyard between the two facilities.
The Department takes pride in this pioneering design. “Community members now have a brand new 24-hour emergency centre,” said Osman.
Visiting hours at the centre are 14:00–16:00 and 19:00–20:00. The contact number is 021 690 1000.