Brand-new Knysna Forensic Pathology Laboratory handled 81 cases since being commissioned
Today, 7 February 2024, Western Cape Minister of Health and Wellness, Professor Nomafrench Mbombo, joined the Department and various stakeholders in officially opening the brand-new Knysna Forensic Pathology Laboratory (FPL) situated at Knysna Provincial Hospital.
The new facility cost a total of R32.956 million to complete and was commissioned at the end of October last year. Since then, our FPL officials have facilitated 42 identifications and conducted 39 post-mortems.
Based on the standardised design as seen at the Beaufort West FPL, Knysna FPL replaces the previous facility that was situated on the Knysna South African Police Services’ premises, which was deemed to be outdated as it could not fulfill service requirements due to the site confines and posed certain occupational health and safety concerns at the time. This facility serves the population of the greater Knysna, Sedgefield, Rheenendal, Plettenberg Bay and surrounding areas.
To improve efficiencies in the area, a decision was made to build a new facility that is now strategically placed at Knysna Provincial Hospital. In doing so, the new facility has resulted in improved service delivery by offering improved medico-legal support to investigations for the justice system, an improved and dignified public experience with an appropriate public interface and bereavement space, as well as an overall improved staff morale.
During the construction of Knysna FPL, the contractors were able to achieve a 20.99% representation of local BEE subcontractors in the area. In addition to this, six National Youth Service (NYS) learners were involved with a further nine Individuals having received training in brick laying and financial life skills.
Attending the event, Director of Forensic Pathology Services in the Western Cape, Ms Vonita Thompson, added, “This facility will provide the dignified space that our communities in the greater Knysna, Sedgefield, Rheenendal, Plettenberg Bay and surrounding areas requires during what is a difficult time when they have to visit the facility when a loved-one passed away due to unnatural causes. Additionally, the facility will also provide fit-for-purpose facilities for our staff.”
Minister Professor Nomafrench Mbombo concluded by saying, “As the Minister of Health and Wellness in the province, I am honoured to officially open this key piece of infrastructure. As the department which cares for our residents these services hold a pivotal role within our healthcare landscape and is often not recognised for the important work it does on a daily basis. The commission of this facility represents a significant investment in both our healthcare infrastructure and the well-being of our communities. I look forward to the impact it will continue to have on the lives of our residents.”