R104 million healthcare centre officially opens in District Six
Premier Helen Zille and the Western Cape Health MEC, Dr Nomafrench Mbomb, officially opened the new R104 million four-storey District Six Community Day Centre (CDC) on Wednesday 25 July 2018. The new facility is built on the grounds of the old and historical Peninsula Maternity Hospital (PMH), which was established towards the end of World War I by the Cape Hospital Board in 1921 as a training hospital specialising in midwifery. The hospital eventually closed its doors in 1992 to amalgamate with the Mowbray Maternity Hospital.
“The Western Cape Government is committed to providing quality healthcare services to all in the Western Cape. This Community Day Centre embodies the Healthcare 2030 vision of the Department to provide a comprehensive healthcare service with quality patient-centred care for all accessing its services. Access to health service is central to my vision of building healthy, resilient, wellness-conscious individuals,” said Western Cape Minister of Health, Dr Nomafrench Mbombo.
Two of the oldest community healthcare centres, the Woodstock and Robbie Nurock Community Day Centres (CDCs) which were opened between the 1800 and 1900s in the Cape Metropole, officially closed its doors on Friday 23 February 2018 to amalgamate and provide a comprehensive package of care to clients in the new District Six CDC on Monday 26 February 2018.
The new District Six CDC provides a comprehensive primary healthcare package of services to a population of 70 000 from Woodstock, Salt River, Vredehoek, Bo-Kaap, the City Bowl, and other surrounding areas, as well as clients commuting into the CBD. The current headcount at the facility is approximately 9 500 clients per month. The new District Six has 70 staff members on the establishment, which includes 6 Medical Officers, 24 Nurses, 11 Administrators, 3 full-time Pharmacists, 1 half-day Pharmacist, and 7 Pharmacist Assistants.
Services offered at the facility are for women’s health, which include family planning, antenatal care and termination of pregnancy (TOP); an integrated chronic disease management consisting of non-communicable and communicable disease, and mental health services, which will include a large antiretroviral (ART) service of over 5 000 clients; minor surgical procedures, which includes the medical male circumcision (MMC) procedure; dietetics; chronic medicine collection (CDU); orthopaedic nursing outreach; wound care and dermatology, pharmacy and X-ray services. The new facility will operate from 07:30 to 16:00 from Monday to Friday.
For clients and staff the move back to District Six is a momentous occasion, and brought back fond memories of a historical past.
“I was forcefully moved from District Six in 1967, and I am so happy that I am finally going home to assist my community again,” said Jeffrey Marshall (63), a health committee member who has been volunteering his time at the Woodstock day hospital to the staff and clients for 14 years before the move to District Six.
“I started my nursing career at Woodstock Hospital in September 1987 as an Enrolled Nursing Assistant, studied further and received my training from more senior staff at the hospital before it changed to a day hospital in 1993,” said Sr. Ada Smith, acting Facility Manager of District Six CDC.
“I am back where I started and it is bittersweet to leave behind the fond memories, but I am also happy that we are finally providing a full healthcare package in a brand new and modernised facility,” said Sr. Smith.
The new building also includes a sustainable going green design, which is part of a plan initiated by the Western Cape Government, and promotes various green initiatives such as energy-saving lights, motion sensors, natural ventilation and lighting. As for the water supply, and in being considerate for the water shortage in the province, rain water will be used for firefighting and to flush toilets.
FLTR: Dr Keith Cloete, Chief of Operations at the Western Cape Department of Health, Premier Helen Zille, Dr Nomafrench Mbombo and Dr Kathryn Grammer, District Manager for Health in the Southern/Western Sub-district.