R30 Million TC Newman Community Day Centre a Demonstration of Improved Health Infrastructure
Western Cape Health Minister Theuns Botha officiated the opening of the R30 million upgraded TC Newman Community Day Centre in Paarl East on 10 April. He said that 6% of this year's provincial health budget is allocated to capital investment in infrastructure, of which the TC Newman CDC is an example.
"At this point in time, we are project managing the most capital projects ever in the history of this province, the total cost of capital projects exceeding R5 billion," said Minister Botha.
The centre was originally built in 1977 to serve the surrounding community in Paarl. It was named after the first coloured person from the area to become a doctor, Dr TC Newman. During the 1990s, the functions of the facility changed from a 24-hour service to a dedicated primary healthcare facility, offering specialist out-patient facilities, day theatre, rehabilitation and oral health services and radiology.
In 2007, with the advent of the massive upgrade project at Paarl Hospital, the specialist functions moved over to Paarl Hospital. To address the challenge of the increasing number of HIV patients, the facility was renovated and refurbished and consulting rooms added for infectious diseases and family medicine practice. The upgrade and construction work started in 2009 and has recently been completed at a cost of R30 million.
The facility is spacious and clean with ample toilets, consulting rooms and large waiting areas. Additions include a state-of-the-art pharmacy, reception area, triage and HIV/TB clinic. Exterior renovations are scheduled for the current financial year.
TC Newman services an average of 10 000 patients per month, rendering a full primary health package of care as well as dentistry and rehabilitation.
With regard to the upgrade of health facilities in rural areas, Minister Botha announced that in May this year he will also officiate the opening of the upgraded Ceres Hospital and its new EMS unit. Next year, renovations will commence at Robertson Hospital and a site has been identified for the Nonqubela Clinic, also in Robertson. Montagu Hospital is being upgraded through the generous contribution of the private sector.
"In addition, Western Cape Government Health is upgrading many of our health facilities through the addition of prefab structures," Minister Botha said.
Minister Botha said the establishment of a health infrastructure based on the needs of our people, and with the objective of being better together, speaks to provincial government's strategic objective of creating wellness. "Increasing Wellness is an approach to public healthcare that is certainly new and is redirecting the debate on public health management."
"The disease prevention plan resonates with the relevance of the Western Cape's different and alternative approach towards healthcare. A healthy society will generate people who can live and work and have a happy family life. Health and wellness is certainly not a condition that can be created by patients alone, or by government alone, but together we certainly have the potential to be better," said Minister Botha.