Premier Helen Zille and the National Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, officially opened the new Khayelitsha Hospital on 17 April 2012.
The 240-bed medical facility will provide support to the surrounding primary healthcare facilities to ensure that patients receive care at the lowest level of entry into the healthcare system. In future, if required, there is a design potential to expand to 390 beds.
The hospital provides quality healthcare to approximately 500 000 to 1 500 000 people in the Khayelitsha area. It is expected to lighten the load of the overburdened GF Jooste and Tygerberg hospitals.
The total design and construction cost for the hospital, including the ambulance station situated on the premises, came to R632 million - R556 million for infrastructure, R60 million for health technology and R16 million for organisational development and quality assurance. The paediatric wards at the hospital were officially opened on Monday, 13 February 2012, and the obstetric wards on Wednesday, 15 February 2012.
Premier Helen Zille highlighted the Khayelitsha Hospital's significance in advancing redress and promoting equity, "For the longest time, there has been inequitable access to quality health services across society. This hospital is one of many interventions undertaken by the Western Cape Government to overcome the legacy of our tragic past so that all people in the Western Cape can progressively and tangibly realise the attainment of their rights and human dignity. Together with Khayelitsha residents, who we encourage to play their part in preventing illness and injury in their homes and on their streets, this hospital will be the centrepiece of a better health service."
Western Cape Health Minister Theuns Botha said the official opening of Khayelitsha Hospital is indeed a historic day in terms of hospitals for the people of the Cape. "Today marks a milestone of improved service delivery for the people of the Western Cape. Finally, after a lifetime of travelling to distant hospitals, the people of Khayelitsha now have access to a hospital in their immediate vicinity that will compare to the best in the world. That certainly is a step closer to increasing wellness." It is also the first hospital in the Western Cape to have an e-filing content management system. Staff and medical practitioners will now be able to access patient folders electronically.
Services available at the hospital will include:
Patients from Michael Mapongwana CHC (Community Health Centre), Site B CHC, Nolungile CHC and smaller clinics in the Khayelitsha area will be referred to Khayelitsha Hospital when required. These clinics will continue to render a health service to the community and surrounds. Patients who require more advanced levels of care will be referred to Tygerberg Hospital.
Plans to construct the hospital were approved in 2005 and construction began in 2009. Its central location, near to public transport and the Khayelitsha Shopping Centre, also makes it easily accessible, and the Khayelitsha community will have quality health services on their doorstep.
Environmental Aspects: The new Khayelitsha Hospital is a "green" building and has received a level 3 accreditation in terms of carbon footprint. Considerable emphasis was placed on energy conservation, which includes:
The use of energy saving initiatives and alternative energy sources, contribute towards reducing running costs. This is augmented by water recycling and the extensive use of passive systems to assist with internal climatic control. Great emphasis has been placed on the use of low maintenance materials and careful consideration of the maintenance regime for the building.
Innovation: The design places emphasis on careful attention to the comfort and experience of clients. The key structuring element is a network of courtyard spaces, each within its own character and identity, and drawing extensively from the inputs of local artists.