Ackerman Family Foundation Donation For Victoria Hospital Paediatric Upgrade
A generous R5 million donation by The Ackerman Family Foundation has laid the stepping stones for the much needed upgrade of Victoria Hospital’s paediatric unit.
Western Cape Minister of Health, Theuns Botha, this morning announced the donation at a media conference with Mr Gareth and Mrs Mandy Ackerman of The Ackerman Family Foundation.
The donation came about after the Ackermans approached Minister Botha and he invited them to visit Victoria Hospital together to assess the needs. Minister Botha says: “The Ackerman donation follows many similar donations from this foundation to health facilities in need, and we are grateful for their generosity. On behalf of the Premier and our Western Cape Government I would like to thank the Ackermans personally for their contribution to our public health sector.
The Children’s Hospital Trust, whose focus has now shifted from raising funds only for Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital to paediatric healthcare in the Western Cape, will raise the remaining R5million needed. This project at Victoria Hospital is the Children’s Hospital Trust’s first building project beyond the doors of the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital.
Founded in 1888, Wynberg’s Victoria Hospital is 125 years old and considering the age of the building, it is in a fairly good shape. The hospital started as a 38-bed unit and has grown into a busy 158-bed district hospital and provides vital specialist care for the southern sub-district, the largest sub-district in the Cape Metropole.
Maintenance takes place on an on-going basis. Victoria Hospital has a very high patient turnover and high adult and paediatric bed occupancy rate.
Mrs Mandy Ackerman, spokesperson of the VicKids Project for the Ackerman Family Foundation, says “This project is a dream realised for the Ackerman Family Foundation. I have championed this initiative since inception and the support of all who have committed to its fulfilment is sincerely appreciated. We first met with representatives of Victoria Hospital in late 2011 and immediately understood that something had to be done to improve the inadequacies of the paediatric ward for the provision of quality paediatric services. Knowing that Victoria Hospital services approximately 600 000 people from the southern sub-district of the Cape Metropole, and learning about the lack of facilities for the mothers of the young patients, we realised the situation was untenable.”
Mr Gareth Ackerman says: “We are truly delighted that the process has gone so well. The business development office of the Western Cape Department of Health played a key role in assisting us with necessary documentation and facilitated a smooth and speedy process.”
The upgrade of the paediatric ward at Victoria Hospital will increase space sufficiently to accommodate parents at the bedside of their children, provide isolation cubicles and also make provision for critical areas required for counselling, parent’s restroom, procedure room, offices, ablutions and storage space for equipment.
In the medium term a new emergency centre is to be constructed on the current Victoria Hospital premises.