Worcester Health Imbizo: R168m Hospital Upgrading
"Our Provincial Government is committed to providing access to quality health-care for all the people of the Western Cape, and to transforming health-care in the province to be both sustainable and of the highest standards. This is especially critical in our rural regions." With these words Western Cape Premier, Marthinus van Schalkwyk, accompanied by the Provincial Ministers for Health and Agriculture, Environmental Affairs, and Development Planning opened a Health Imbizo with health-care workers and members of the community at the Eben Dönges Hospital in Worcester.
The Premier and Ministers had earlier visited the construction site where work has been underway since mid-August as part of a R168 million upgrading process at the hospital which is targeted for completion in early 2007. "A new casualty wing, a new training centre, the demolition and rebuilding of four wards, and the creation of an additional 100 bed capacity will be major features of the revitalised Worcester Hospital," said Provincial Health Minister, Piet Meyer, "We know that our Boland and Overberg communities have not been receiving the quality of health-care which they deserve, and as part of HealthCare 2010, our health plan for the next ten years, this upgrading process will start to address these problems."
"In addition to the physical infrastructure which is being built, Eben Dönges has also received R14 million for critical equipment of which more than R10 million has already been spent," said the Premier, "These purchases included a complete replacement of life-saving machinery like anaesthetic machines, ventilators and monitors."
Minister Meyer paid tribute to the management and staff of the Eben Dönges Hospital for their commitment and dedication to serving their community. The Premier also thanked the Local Steering Committee of the Hospital saying: "A large part of the success of our health-care facilities rests on partnerships with the local community - active community involvement in processes like upgrading our hospitals ensures that the services our government delivers meet the needs of our people."
The Minister for Agriculture, Environmental Affairs, and Development Planning, Johan Gelderblom, also highlighted the groundbreaking medical waste disposal initiatives being undertaken by the Worcester Hospital: "We are perhaps more used to the success stories of private enterprise because they must watch the bottom line, but it is encouraging that this hospital took steps to incorporate waste minimisation into its planning for extensions. In the process it has become the first hospital in the province, and perhaps in South Africa, to do so." Minister Gelderblom added that these steps would lower costs, benefit the environment and improve the health of the workers and people in the surrounding communities.
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