Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital Honours Long-Serving Employees | Western Cape Government

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Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital Honours Long-Serving Employees

27 September 2012

At the annual long service award ceremony at Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital this morning, Western Cape Minister of Health, Theuns Botha, honoured 27 health care workers who have been in the employ of Western Cape Government Health and 8 employees awarded by the facility board for 20-years’ service at this hospital exclusively. Five received 40-year awards, 18 received 30-year rewards and 4 received 20-year awards. In his address Minister Botha talked a little about the recipients of 40-year awards - 4 nursing assistants and 1 support service professional. “Yasmine Stellenboom is called the matron of dialysis. She teaches everyone in the renal and transplant ward how to do dialysis. Last year the Children’s Hospital performed its 200th kidney transplant. Every one of these patients would have been under Nurse Stellenboom’s hands. “Jean Roman, Galima Abdol and Charmaine Stanley are all nursing assistants in ICU, where the sickest children are treated. They are the staff members who work most closely with patients daily, looking after their hygiene and nutritional status, making sure they are comfortable and not in too much pain. They are also responsible for initiating resuscitation. They provide therapeutic environments for patients and families, checking patients’ vital signs, taking care of admissions, discharges and referrals. Nursing assistants also accompany patients for medical procedures. “Mr George Hope is a support services technician. He sterilises and services life support equipment such as ventilators, making sure that it is ready for patient use.” Minister Botha, said: “The hospital has almost 1150 employees of which 558 are nurses, that is 48.5%. Nurses form 41% of the department’s human resource capacity. In the Western Cape we have opened nurse training institutions where we are now training sufficient numbers of nurses. The shortage is in the specialized nurse area where the shortage is 2.8%. The hospitals with the highest shortage are tertiary hospitals, in particular Groote Schuur Hospital with 3.3% and Tygerberg Hospital with 2.8%. Since the implementation of the Occupation Services Dispensation the retaining of nurses is not a problem. In fact, the public sector now has a better capacity to retain nurses than the private sector.” Minister Botha congratulated the recipients and thanked them for their unfaltering devotion to healthcare. Comment from Prof. John Hewitson, Head of the Cardiac Unit at Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital: Prof. Hewitson has saved thousands of little lives in his 30 years’ service at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital. Prof. Hewitson said he was surprised to find that he had already been working in the public service for 30 years but adds that he feels it is “appropriate”. “I didn’t want to work in private practice. In a country that needs healthcare as badly as this, I felt it was appropriate to work in the public service,” he said. Prof. Hewitson estimates that he has performed about 6 000 surgeries during this three decades of service. “I didn’t perform many in the 80s because I was still training but in the 90s I did about 250 cardiac surgeries a year and about 150 cardio thoracic surgeries. After that I did about 150 a year because I had more help,” he said. “We feel proud that you have been true public service ambassadors who have served our people selflessly with dignity and humility. You have lived the Bathopele principles and raised the standards of this hospital,” said Dr Lungi Linda, the hospital’s CEO. “We thank you very much for your loyalty, professionalism, high work ethic, accountability, respect for human dignity, caring attitude and empathy.”

Media Enquiries: 

Lauren O’Connor-May

Principal Communications Officer: Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital

Western Cape Government Health

Tel: 021 658 5448

Cell: 084 586 1413

Email: Lauren.O'