Update on the health facilities in Knysna and Bitou following the Knysna fires
The last few days have been very challenging for our Department. While most of us in the Cape Metro and broader Western Cape were navigating our way through the most severe storm in 30 years on 7 June, another disaster struck in the Eden District.
A special thank you goes to our colleagues who kept our services going during the storm despite their personal circumstances. These included children being kept home from school, flooding and road closures. With few exceptions, services continued uninterrupted amidst the weather challenges.
At the same time, multiple fires broke out in the Eden District and engulfed Knysna. Several homes were destroyed and thousands of people evacuated. As the fire drew nearer, management at the Knysna Hospital took the decision to evacuate the patients from the hospital as it was in direct line of the fire. Safety of staff and patients was the main priority. Swift action meant the evacuation protocol was activated around 17h30 and at 20h00 all 82 patients were safely evacuated and taken to alternative sites.
The excellent cooperation between multiple role players came to the fore once again as 4 patients were evacuate to Life and Advanced Health Hospitals and 78 patients to the Vineyard Church Hall. Staff were also deployed to these sites to ensure our patients continue to receive the necessary medical care they required.
11 June 2017
Today, 11 June 2017 was the fourth day since the evacuation of Knysna Hospital due to raging fires in the area. Staff have been working around the clock to ensure the best possible service for our clients during this time.
We have two active emergency sites where emergency cases are treated and either referred to George Hospital or treated and discharged:
- Loerie Park in Knysna (071 6344 020 / 0711 506 204)
- Plettenberg Bay Town Clinic in Plettenberg Bay (044 501 3700)
Our maternity cases are handled at Life Private Hospital in Knysna where we have deployed extra staff to assist with our patients.
A major clean-up operation will start in the hospital tomorrow to restore the hospital to a desired state before moving services back later in the week.
Primary Health Care Services:
All our primary health care facilities(clinics) will be open tomorrow as usual in both Knysna and Bitou sub-districts.
We thank our clients for their patience during this challenging time and we look forward to welcoming them back to the hospital in the near future.