Press Release: The Knysna Provincial Hospital Board expressed its delight and appreciation when the extensions to the Knysna Provincial hospital were approved. The Chairperson, Mr. Richard Dawson, stated that this comes in the wake of a wealth of donations of equipment from the community and various other interested groups over the years, demonstrating that the people of Knysna have been and are very generous.
The Board believes that the extension to the facilities are going to make a great difference to Knysna patients and people. What is also important is the fact that it has be,en stipulated that the developers should use as many local contractors as possible for various functions in this development. In this manner the hospital clearly intends to support local industry as a boost to the local economy, and help to create employment in this sector.The Chairperson stated further, that taking into account all the donations received during the past, this extension is really the ‘cherry on the top’ and pleased that there has been confirmation that the project will commence in July this year.
The R45-million extension to the Hospital, which was approved by the Department of Health, the Hospital Superintendent Dr. Du Plooy envisages will take 18 months to complete and will allow the provincial hospital to provide even better quality healthcare to the residents of Knysna.
In order of priority, the hospital will receive a new emergency centre, pharmacy, administration building, outpatient department and a new radiography department. Du Plooy said that the R45-million does not cover all of the expenses that this extension will incur; however, plans have been put in place to cover the additional expenses. “The building costs are covered by the grant we received from the Department of Health, but we will need to utilise our current capital equipment funding, as well as source external funding from heath technology departments in order to fully equip the new building.
The new radiography department will receive a Picture Archive Computerised System (PACS), which essentially will allow us to take digital photographs. This is a leading mechanism in health care as the system gives us the capability to share the x-rays via various modes of technology, including e-mail. This will allow us to get opinions from specialists in a fraction of the time it would have, and this added input ultimately improves our knowledge and skills base.
This extension is imperative so that we can increase our functionality and hence the quality of our healthcare. Provincial hospitals often have the stigma of being a last resort, but we want to change that. We are putting plans in place, the staff is hard at work and ultimately I wish to see residents visiting us and commending us on the impeccable level of service we offer. We want to provide all the necessary services under one roof so that people will not need to travel to the larger hospitals i.e. George Provincial Hospital, for assistance. We face many challenges, but I believe that our objectives are attainable,” Du Plooy concluded.
Dawson stated further that donations for various purposes during the recent years have, for example, included:
- The upgrading of the hospitals step-down respite facility which included new patients’ beds, and a garden. The interior of the building is currently being painted and the exterior and the roof will be repainted as part of the extension project.”
- The ARV clinic building was donated to Knysna, through the Hospital Board, by the Fancourt Foundation, and it is a facility of which Knysna can be very proud. The walls are covered by art work done by local child artists and it is an effective, well run facility. Another organisation donated the “Jungle gym’ for the children, who accompany parents, to play on.
- The Rotary Club of Knysna arrange every year for a week, when they sponsor procedures for those suffering from ear, nose and throat diseases. In order for the Doctors to meet this need, Rotary has given the hospital Ear, Nose and Throat equipment specifically for this purpose. Other donations from them provided for new beds and sonar equipment.
- The Rotary- Anne’s have introduced the “Kangaroo Project” for premature babies while ‘Help The Babies” donates clothing for all new born babies while many caring Knysna people knit for the children and make blankets and donate toys.
- The Lions Club of Knysna sponsors much of the eye-care work done in the hospital and in the area. They organise at least two “cataract operation tours” every year. This involves providing cataract operations for at least 120 people per annum in our hospital, and in total there are now more than 2000 people whose sight has been restored in the area.
Besides donations received from the service clubs and churches, there are many kind people in the community who donate toys, blankets, curtains and toiletries and who visit patients from time to time, simply to spread cheer.
Building on all the support received from the people of Knysna, the Hospital Board is sure that the extension to the treatment facilities will make a measurable difference in due course.