The new emergency unit at George Provincial Hospital is now complete and will open on Thursday 12 July 2012. The project which started in June 2011 cost just over R8 million for the infrastructure and an additional R2.4 million for equipment. This forms part of the R121 million refurbishment of George Hospital.
Western Cape Health Minister, Theuns Botha, who will officially open the new unit on Monday 8 October 2012 said: “The new emergency unit forms part of our government’s investment in health infrastructure throughout the province. The new unit will certainly assist to provide improved emergency health services for the people of the Southern Cape.”
The new unit has fourteen examination beds and four additional private examination rooms. This will reduce patient waiting times as more patients will be attended to in a shorter period of time.
Other improvements include:
● Resuscitation beds were increased from two to four, including all applicable monitors, ventilators and other equipment with a dedicated bed for children.
● A new digital X-ray machine. Traditional X-rays will not be printed anymore, and medical staff will be able to look at the images on special computer screens in the Emergency Centre as well as on all desk top computers in the hospital. This will be possible within 5 minutes after the X-ray was taken.
● A well-resourced dedicated ward for patients that need to be observed for up to 12 hours.
● An improved waiting area as well as a family counselling room.
● Dedicated examination rooms to be used by primary health care nurses to see and treat patients with less serious ailments.
The hospital has for a number of years been providing the emergency service under difficult conditions and with this new improved unit there will be enough space and equipment to cope with the emergency related cases that arrive at the emergency unit. Between 100 and 120 patients visit the emergency unit per day. Staff will now be able to provide an even better service to our clients who in return have to take responsibility for their own health, making us better together.
The unit will continue to cater for patients with less serious ailments that need care when the community health centres and day clinics are not open (after 16:00 and during weekends). The admission office for both the day theatre and the emergency centre will be in the east part of the emergency unit and the administration of both units will thus be more practical and efficient. The new entrance for walk-in patients is opposite the entrance to the Day Theatre. There is a separate entrance for ambulance and emergency cases.