Rural heroes – Vredendal Hospital team transforms boiler room into Covid-19 ward | Western Cape Government


Rural heroes – Vredendal Hospital team transforms boiler room into Covid-19 ward

21 August 2020

For the staff and patients of Vredendal Hospital, the COVID-19 pandemic sparked innovation that resulted in a solution with lasting benefits. When the Matzikama subdistrict saw an increase in COVID-19 cases, the hospital needed a dedicated COVID-19 ward.

The hospital did not have space for a dedicated COVID-19 ward inside the facility but had to find a way to care for COVID-19 patients whilst protecting other patients from possible infection. The solution was a legacy project transforming an unused building into a new ward for COVID-19 patients. The hospital’s old boiler room was not functional anymore and only used to store unused items. 

The hospital management staff, together with the hospital maintenance team, assessed the hospital premises for potential areas that could be converted into ward space and the old boiler room was identified for this purpose.

While most of the work on the space had to be done by external contractors – due to the nature of the work – the hospital’s maintenance team played a key role in clearing out the area and preparing the space for the contractual work.

Dr Meyer Swanepoel, Manager: Medical services of Vredendal Hospital, says that the additional ward space created will not only be put to good use during the COVID-19 pandemic but will also be utilised in the future to ease patient flow in the facility.

Vredendal Hospital is the only hospital (in the public and private health system) serving the communities in the Matzikama subdistrict, including towns like Lutzville, Klawer, Vanrhynsdorp and Bitterfontein and rural villages including Stofkraal, Molsvlei, Rietpoort and Nuwerus. “With the vast distances our patients, especially those in the remote areas of the subdistrict, have to travel for hospital level care we have unique challenges in our health system, but initiatives like this help us to continue to serve our communities with care and efficiency,” says Dr Swanepoel.

For their solutions-driven thinking in transforming and using a previously unused space in the midst of a pandemic, the management and maintenance teams of Vredendal Hospital is highlighted as Rural Heroes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Congratulations on your new ward space and thank you for putting in the extra effort to support the fight against the Coronavirus.