Netcare Ceres Hospital building officially transferred to the Western Cape Gov
On Wednesday, 31 May, Western Cape Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Nomafrench Mbombo, was briefed on the progress made in the Ceres Hospital Improvement Plan.
It was also the site at which it was announced that the former Netcare Ceres Hospital, that had been procured by the Department of Infrastructure on behalf of the Department of Health and Wellness, had officially been transferred to the Western Cape Government (WCG).
This means that the building can now be repurposed to serve the greater Ceres population. Plans are currently being finalised and it is expected that construction work will begin in November this year. The project timeline is for it to be transformed into a Community Day Centre by the end of 2024 and be equipped with a transitional care unit as well. This will greatly assist in decongesting the hospital platform and assist with patient flow. For the past 8 years, Ceres Hospital has had an average bed utilisation rate of 90% to 95% and at times has even reached 100% capacity. The growing mental health burden at Ceres Hospital has also placed an additional pressure on the availability of beds. Because of increased bed pressure at referral mental health hospitals, Ceres Hospital has not been able to transfer acute mental health patients – which averages 20 admissions per month for further care.
Various initiatives have been implemented and are underway to improve the quality of care to mental health users within the Witzenberg district. This includes that:
- The local mental health forum was strengthened and extended to include local NGOs, FBOs and local government departments.
- All the service providers in the scope of mental health were connected and continue to work together to the benefit of our patients.
To augment healthcare services in Ceres Hospital, an Acute Psychiatric Unit has also been established. Additionally, the general ward now has 10 designated beds for mental health patients. The facility has also filled the critical vacancies which existed last year.
Medical Manager of Ceres Hospital, Dr Elton Titus noted: “The newly acquired building and newly built Acute Psychiatrist Unit will give us a significant opportunity to improve the quality of patients’ care and ease pressure on the services, freeing up space for additional beds at Ceres Hospital. Ceres Clinic’s services will move to the newly acquired building, which will also host a transitional care facility, and become the hub from which rehab staff offers services to the community. This is in line with the 2030 bed plan of the Western Cape Department of Health and Wellness to increase the official number of beds from 86 to 112 for Ceres Hospital.”
Minister Mbombo concluded: “I am most excited for the developments which have and will be taking place in Ceres. The progress in the improvement plan can be seen to be greatly assisting the community and alleviating the pressure on the hospital platform. As Minister, I am proud of the extensive partnerships that have been created amongst the private, public and civic sectors alike. By working together, we can ensure that the health sector is responsive to the needs of residents.”