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Winde and Mbombo on a surprise visit to Ceres Hospital after getting a call to action petition

Winde and Mbombo on a surprise visit to Ceres Hospital after getting a call to action petition

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Cape Town – The Western Cape Government Health (WCGH) says it is working on responding to calls by residents and civil society organisations in the Witzenberg municipality to upgrade its health-care facilities and service delivery issues in the region.

On Monday, Western Cape Premier Alan Winde accompanied Western Cape Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo on an unannounced visit to Ceres Hospital, reportedly after receiving a call to action by the Witzenberg Justice Coalition on September 12, 2022.

According to the Department of Health, the Ceres Hospital has been under pressure, due to the growth in the population in the area.

“This has placed a strain on the hospital and its emergency centre, the ability to service complex medical conditions directly impacting on waiting times.

“These are issues the Western Cape government takes seriously,” Mbombo said.

Adding that with the health-care system facing strain, it requires all government structures and the whole of society to tackle the issues.

“We visited today to share the difficulties faced by the Department in meeting the current demand at Ceres Hospital, and to provide an update on the implementation of the improvement plan as well as our plans to address it,” Mbombo said.

She said the department during its visit shared some of its plans to improve service delivery in Witzenberg.

Cape Winelands District director Handri Liebenberg said the hospital was making good progress with some of the projects it has begun working on.

“We currently have a locum that attends the hospital between 3 to 5 pm to assist in the emergency centre. We also recently added a 4-bed mental health unit at Ceres Hospital, and we appointed a community psychiatrist to support staff and transfer skills, to further strengthen mental healthcare in the area,” she said.

Ceres Hospital CEO Dr Elton Titus said in addition to the newly implemented changes, the hospital also has medium to long-term plans that would put it in a better position to respond to the growing demand for health-care services in the municipality.

“We are in the process of acquiring new infrastructure, the Netcare private hospital, which will serve as a Community Day Centre (CDC). The Intermediate Care Facility (ICF) service will move to a new building, freeing up space for 14 more beds at Ceres Hospital,” he said.

“The CDC will therefore have an intermediate care facility and will be the hub from where rehab staff offer their services, and the base from where they do outreaches to the community.

“The department is also looking for a total of 10 beds for ICF and needs to increase capacity to 100 to 110 beds, depending on what usage for new infrastructure will be,” Titus said.

Adding that the new infrastructure will have accessibility to a doctor, rehabilitation services, dental care and a comprehensive package of care which includes, chronic care, management of TB/HIV, preventative care, mothers and child health and treatment of minor acute ailments.

“It is encouraging to learn there has been progress with the quality improvement plan for the hospital.

“However, more still needs to be done.

“The hospital management appeared confident and eager that all the challenges raised will be addressed as quickly as possible.

“The dignity and well-being of patients are paramount, so I urge Ceres Hospital officials to do everything they can to ensure quality health care,” Premier Alan Winde said.

Cape Argus

Original Article

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