New R39 Million Trauma and Antiretroviral Treatment Unit Opens in Mitchells Plain
The official opening of the new R39 million Trauma unit and Antiretroviral Treatment (ART) unit at the Mitchells Plain Community Health Centre today, introduces a new era for this facility's patients. It is anticipated that the unbearably long queues caused by the construction over the past months will come to an end.
The new upgraded facility forms part of the Western Cape Department of Health's plan to upgrade emergency centres and ART units.
The new trauma unit provides five (5) trauma beds, three (3) resuscitation beds, three (3) observation beds in the observation room, eight (8) treatment points for asthma patients, one (1) triage room for adults and one (1) for children. There is also a new X-ray unit, as well as new personnel offices.
Of the twenty four thousand (24 000) patients treated per month at this facility, four thousand five hundred (4500) are trauma patients. Half of the trauma patients attended to, arrive as a result of assaults and road accidents, fifteen percent (15%) for asthma and chronic obstructive airway diseases and five percent (5%) are psychiatric patients.
The new Trauma Unit can be cordoned off for public access after-hours, which will enable security guards to control movement on the premises.
In his address at the official opening of the unit, Theuns Botha, Western Cape Health Minister, said: "It is estimated that a half million people live in this sub-district of Mitchells Plain and in terms of the service plan of the Western Cape provincial government, the current facility is too small to meet the need of the large numbers in this densely-populated district."
"It is for this reason that we shifted funds in the provincial budget to go ahead with the construction of Mitchells Plain Hospital, despite the difficulties we experienced from National Treasury, said Minister Botha."
A large number of the surrounding communities live in informal housing. Poverty and unemployment is high. There is a high incidence of drug and alcohol abuse, which explains the high levels of violence and physical abuse. The healthcare indicators of tuberculosis, low birth rate and under five-years-of-age mortality rates are reflected as some of the highest causes of death in the community.
Until the Mitchells Plain Hospital is complete, the shortage of doctors at the Mitchells Plain Community Health Centre remains a problem because this particular facility is at present handling patients that will eventually filter to the Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain hospitals. Minister Botha requested budget reallocations to allow for the appointment of two (2) additional medical officers at this facility.
The dental unit, nearing completion, will offer seven (7) dental chairs, and will be used as a training facility for the University of Western Capes dental faculty.
The contact numbers for the facility is as follows:
Reception: 021 392 5160/1/2
Emergency: 021 391 1263
Facility Manager/ complaints:
Sister Zethu Xapile
Tel: 021 391 5899/5820
Western Cape Minister for Health