From the news desk

New Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital: A private, medical aid market

The opening of the new flagship Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital is in the first phase of a development that will culminate in the establishment of a world class medical precinct and centre of excellence, which is the first of its kind in South Africa.

The hospital offers a comprehensive range of primary, secondary and tertiary medical, emergency, diagnostic and rehabilitative services, with R700m already been spent on the construction of the hospital and much more is anticipated.

The new hospital facility is said to represent a considerable investment by Netcare in the City of Cape Town and it is envisaged that the scope of the new development will lead to the creation of a number of new job opportunities.

View of the heart sculpture that decorates the reception area. Photo: Ra-ees Moerat
View of the heart sculpture that decorates the reception area. Photo: Supplied

Chief Executive Officer of Netcare, Dr Richard Friedland says that noise reduction in ICU wards was a top priority for the Netcare group. As a result, the ICU wards have been designed in such a way that patients occupying these wards would not be disturbed by external noises.

“To allow patients to sleep peacefully, we put glass around the nursing station, so nurses can still speak, without disturbing or waking the patients,” he says.

The new facility is also an upgrade from having only two small cubicles in ICU, to have having six in the new hospital.

“We have six beautiful cubicles where we can isolate patients if we need to. That’s something operationally that we need to have in our system,” he says.

The art works and photography visible throughout the hallway of the hospital is works of local artists that documented Cape Town. Ultimately, it creates a feel of the Mother City.

“We’ve commissioned photographers to capture different scenes of Cape Town to create a homely ambiance,” he says.

“Private healthcare and has moved on and the expectations are different. Therefore, we no longer have communal bathrooms and we also removed any tripping hazards from the showers,” Friedland explains.

Each incubator in the maternity ward has its own room and own name, such as the ‘Giraffe’ incubator, making it   easier to identify and isolate the babies. The incubators are indeed not your conventional ones. It has various additional features, where it can even be used as an operating table. 

Ultimately, the New Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital is exceptionally well-poised to accommodate maternity and labour-related cases. The hospital has specific, state of the art technology to ensure that this department (and all others) receive exceptional service 

“We’ve created a high risk ward with three beds for unstable mothers needing to be close to the labour ward. We’ve also installed a fetal heart rate monitor, which will run from a central station and the gynaecologists will be able to dial in from afar to acquire heart rate readings,” he says.

In addition, Friedland says that the type of patients that have been admitted to the previous facility will remain the same. These are usually patients who are on medical aid and who can afford private healthcare. However, he adds that some state patients have been cared for on ‘pro bono publico’ basis.

“We don’t anticipate that the type of patients will change. The patients are usually on medical aid and private paying patients. Essentially, it is a private, medical aid market,” he says.

Chris also says that they will systematically move the existing patients and staff members from the old facility to the new one. 

The Christian Barnard Memorial Hospital opens December 5, 2016.

[VOC Ra-ees Moerat]


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