New Forensic Pathology Laboratory Set to Improve Health Services in Winelands
The newly constructed Forensic Pathology Laboratory in Paarl was officially opened today and complements the expansion of health facilities in the Winelands, with the official opening of the Emergency Unit at Paarl Hospital last year and the Community Health Centre to be opened later this year. Built at a cost of R17 million, the new facility was tailor-built for the particular needs of the local community.
In his address after opening the facility, Minister Botha said the Western Cape Provincial Government has prioritised the expansion of facilities to be situated closer to communities. "The location of this laboratory was carefully selected to be accessible for the people of Paarl East and surrounding areas. Its proximity to Paarl Hospital, which is also undergoing significant upgrades at present, will enhance and strengthen the quality of health services to the people of the Winelands."
The facility will provide services to the surrounding communities of Paarl East, Franschhoek, Groot Drakenstein, Wellington, Klapmuts, Mbekweni and Philadelphia, and manage referral cases from the greater geographic area that it supports.
The new facility has a larger waiting area and much-improved storage facilities, as well as a more spacious dissection area with upgraded technological equipment. Interview facilities have been designed to offer more privacy.
To date, the Provincial Department of Transport and Public Works has completed five Forensic Pathology Laboratories (FPLs) in the Western Cape - Hermanus, George, Malmesbury, Worcester and Paarl. A further FPL is under construction in Beaufort West, while similar laboratories at Groote Schuur Hospital to replace the Salt River Mortuary, and Riversdale in the Southern Cape, are in the planning stages.