New Rehabilitation Centre of Excellence Open on 3 December 2004 | Western Cape Government


New Rehabilitation Centre of Excellence Open on 3 December 2004

2 December 2004
For the past year a section of the premises of Lentegeur Psychiatric Hospital in Mitchells Plain has been a buzzing hive of building activity. Now there's a new buzz - a buzz of anticipation and excitement, because the new facility for the Western Cape Rehabilitation Centre (WCRC) is about to open its doors to the public. Formed from the amalgamation of the Conradie Spinal and Comprehensive Rehabilitation Unit and the Karl Bremer Rehabilitation Unit, the new WCRC promises to be the best rehabilitation centre in Africa, write Health Western Cape's Heidi Bartis and Vernon de Vries.

During a presentation of the Healthcare 2010 framework to a group of stakeholders in November 2002, Head of Health Western Cape, Professor Craig Househam said that "tough decisions now will yield positive results later". One of those tough decisions had been taken in March 2002 by the Western Cape Cabinet, when it decided to relocate the Conradie Rehabilitation Hospital from Pinelands, its home for nearly 40 years, to Mitchell's Plain.

Understandably, the decision met with fierce resistance from several stakeholder groups, particularly the Disability Sector. Now, nearly two-and-a-half years and over R90 million later, the approach of fierce resistance has changed to a spirit of mutual co-operation and enthusiasm.

"2002 was not the easiest of years," admits Jenny Hendry, Deputy Director in charge of the WCRC. "I felt caught between two poles of thought, and I could identify with both! At the one end were the decision makers in Health, who shared my vision of a centre of excellence, but who seemed to spring the relocation decision upon us rather suddenly; and, at the other end, there were the NGOs and the Disability Sector who argued that they had not been consulted properly and consequently felt very uncertain about the future direction of the rehabilitation service. Fortunately, we were all committed to doing what was best for the patients - to make the new Western Cape Rehabilitation Centre a place of excellence!"

Photo of Construction at the Lentegeur Hospital

For Enquiries: Heidi Bartis
Acting Director of Communication
Tel: 021 483 3869
Fax: 021 483 6169

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