Media release : Multimillion rand forensics unit
Minister of Health and Minister of Public works reveals site for Multimillion rand forensics unit
Today (15 September 2017), Western Cape Government Health along with The Department of Transport and Public Works (DTPW) has commenced with a R281 million, 23-month project to replace the Forensic Pathology Services laboratory in Salt River. A larger, purpose-built modern forensic pathology facility will be built at the entrance to Groote Schuur Hospital.
MEC for Health, Dr Nomafrench Mbombo said “The work that we do in Health mostly depends on our infrastructure. Therefore, infrastructure forms part of our priorities as a way to address patient experience and service pressures. Maintained, clean and functional infrastructure are at the core of our agenda. Forensic Pathology Services play a critical role in the delivery of essential services to the people of the Western Cape. When developing these new facilities it is important that we look beyond our 2030 vision which seeks to give access to person-centred and quality care.”
Once it is complete, the Observatory Forensic Pathology Institute will provide Level 4 forensic services aimed at extracting, analysing and preserving the integrity of evidence for use by the criminal justice system.
The three-storey Institute will enable better integration of the work of the provincial Forensic Pathology Service and the National Health Laboratory Service, coupled with facilities to support the University of Cape Town’s academic training in the field. The end result will be an efficient and functional building for the Western Cape Department of Health with low life-cycle building costs.
The facility will include 26 autopsy tables – four dissection suites with six tables each, as well as two teaching and training dissection suites. There will be 360 refrigerated body spaces, 180 admission fridges, and 180 dispatch fridges. In addition, the building will be able to accommodate up to 100 visitors to the bereavement centre per day; up to 10 waiting undertakers; and up to 20 students at a time. The design incorporates natural light through glazed autopsy rooms and a courtyard that allows light deep into the working areas. The public areas have been designed to create a tranquil environment focused around outdoor green spaces.
The project makes use of labour-intensive methods that provide a number of short-term work opportunities and skills training for local people. A total of R21 million will be spent on targeted enterprises, R15 million on suppliers and manufacturers, and R3 million on local labour.
“This 23-month, R281 million project will replace the existing Forensic Pathology Laboratory in Salt River which has become outdated and limited in terms of capacity. The project commenced earlier this year and is expected to be completed early in 2019.
The Western Cape Forensic Pathology Services has been an invaluable partner to the Department of Transport and Public Work’s Safely Home campaign over the years. The road traffic fatalities data that they collect has guided all of our successful interventions and remains the main tool used to measure the impact that our campaign has had on road deaths in the province. Without this scientific data, there would be no campaign that saves hundreds of lives every year.
As with all of our projects, we have set some benchmarks in terms of the empowerment of targeted enterprises, and the use of local labour in the duration of the project. The project makes use of labour-intensive methods that provide a number of short-term work opportunities and skills training for local people. A total of R21 million will be spent on targeted enterprises, R15 million on suppliers and manufacturers, and R3 million on local labour,” said Minister Grant.
Principal Communications Officer: Emergency Medical and Forensic Pathology Services
Western Cape Government Health
Cape Town Emergency Control Centre
Mobile: 073 008 2842