Premier Helen Zille Officially Unveils the New Mitchells Plain Hospital
History was made in bringing health services closer to the people when the Premier of the Western Cape, Helen Zille, and the Western Cape Minister of Health, Theuns Botha, officially opened the new Mitchells Plain Hospital on 12 November 2013.
The ceremonial unveiling of the plaque was attended by a large contingency of provincial cabinet ministers, as well as members of provincial parliament.
The official opening follows four months of commissioning the new services at the hospital, and transferring services from GF Jooste Hospital to the new Mitchells Plain hospital.
Construction started end October 2009 and was completed end February 2013. Construction was delayed when an accidental fire caused damaged to the emergency centre at the end of last year.
The construction budget for the 230-bed hospital was R530 million, and for the health technology equipment R75.7 million. The 72-hour assessment unit with 30 beds for mental health patients is under construction at present and is expected to be complete in July next year.
The hospital will provide district health level hospital care and support services to primary healthcare facilities in the sub districts. The inpatient beds will be district level, with referral of complications to regional and tertiary levels of care. A 24-hour emergency service will replace the emergency services at the 24hour Community Health Centre (CHC). The Hospital will provide full antiretroviral (ARV) referral service to CHC ARV clinics.
Premier Zille, delivering the keynote address, said: “The Mitchells Plain Hospital is a facility that all the surrounding communities can be proud of and is a demonstration of our commitment to improving healthcare in the province. We call on all citizens increasingly to play their part in promoting a culture of wellness so that facilities like this can better meet the needs of those with unpreventable conditions and disabilities."
In his address Minister Botha called on the community to make the hospital their pride: “The hospital cannot alone solve the unemployment challenge in the communities, but it can make a contribution towards sustainable opportunities.
“The focus should remain that a hospital, that has been long overdue, is being provided for the Mitchells Plain and Philippi communities as the primary purpose. This does provide opportunities for business and employment, but these related matters should not divert the attention from the big achievement of having a world-class hospital on your doorstep. Make your community proud of your hospital.”
The chair of the hospital’s first facility board, Mercia Isaacs, said that, speaking on behalf of the community, the board is very proud of the hard work and commitment that the staff has shown in the past months, while commissioning the hospital. “We have witnessed the long hours and we thank all the staff who are devoted to the task at hand. The board will work hard to position this hospital as an example of the heart throb of Mitchells Plain.”
Various empowerment initiatives were set up during the contract period, providing skills-based training and involving community-based businesses and individuals in the development of the project where over R90m was spent in the local community of Mitchells Plain and Philippi.
The Mitchells Plain Hospital project has met and surpassed empowerment targets, with millions of rands having been earmarked for services rendered by HDI owned companies, including local women owned companies. The project has;
- Allocated R289 360 985 for work supplied by HDI owned providers, R17 825 055 for local women owned businesses
- Allocated R25 146 943 towards local labour spend,
- Secured the services of 42 local contractors from Mitchells Plain, and 28 from Philippi,
- Created a total or 5622 work opportunities, 3169 of which were for local youth, as well as providing on site and project management training.
The design of the hospital is based on a centralised plan, which locates staff management zones and main circulation at the core, surrounded by various clinical, administrative and service departments. This approach was developed with input from healthcare professionals, policy-makers, architects and engineers, to ensure the building design had a centralised control system, compact and organised layout, optimized ease of navigation and accessibility and an allowance for future expansion.
The design of the hospital was also informed in part by the Fynbos conservation area next to the hospital as the backdrop landscaped garden to the building. The building was orientated to cut out heat gain within the building and to maximize views from the patient beds. The total size of the hospital is about 26000 m².
The building is located within a highly conservation-worthy area of Fynbos off the R300 in Mitchells Plain. It boasts 5 hectares of unique Cape plant and animal life, adding a unique sensory healing element to the hospital. The project involved a plant and animal rescue mission and re-planting to ensure the construction of the hospital would not affect the natural balance of the habitat. Adding to the element of conservation, natural calcrete stone from the site has been integrated into the architectural and landscape design, and all storm water is recharged back into the ground through meticulously created ponds, thus ensuring that the eco-system is naturally replenished.
HOSPITAL ENVIRONMENTAL DESIGN
The internal environment of the hospital played an important role in meeting high-quality standards through design. A unique interior and way-finding system was developed, taking reference from successful hospital design internationally, and input from local healthcare professionals, policy makers, project team designers and local community members.
The system developed the following key features:
- Selection of colours and materials based on colour association research, which promotes mood upliftment and creates bright and fresh spaces.
- Visual Navigation system using colours, artwork and design elements for the visually impaired and to assist memory-based navigation.
- A tri-lingual signage system, which is uniquely designed for the hospital and locally manufactured, placing high importance on legible pictogram and graphics.
- High quality, user-friendly, anti-microbial finishes.
- Ergonomically designed nurse stations and workspaces.
- Internal courtyards