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New children’s ward for George hospital

New children’s ward for George hospital

The George Hospital Facility Board has committed itself to raising funds to build a new children’s ward for the hospital. The vision for the project is to create a world-class health facility that provides professional care for young patients in an environment that is suitable and nurturing for both themselves and their parents. For this millions of rand are needed.

The first strategy meeting to discuss the building of a new children's ward at the George Hospital was held at the George Lodge. Back row, from left: Dr Martin Viljoen (George Hospital), Andries Grobler (Leap Quantity Surveyors), Leon du Plessis (George Hospital), Ilse Schoonraad (George Herald), Guy Harris (SA Institute for Entrepreneurship), Max Oerder (Ten SA) and Dr Willie Breytenbach (George Hospital). Middle row: Elza Sellars (George Hospital), Erna Theron (Acsa), Laetitia Minnaar (George Hospital), Anne-Marè Syfers (George Hospital), Sharmane Janki (George Hospital), Blyth Thompson (George Hospital Facility Board) and Cornè Nunns (Millers Attorneys). Front row: Karen Nel (SDK Architects Inc), Brenda Vorster (Acsa & George Business Chamber), Michael Vonk (George Hospital), Louise Driver (Children's Hospital Trust), Rev Michiel Burger (George Hospital Facility Board) and Prof Willie van der Westhuizen (Millers Attorneys).

The first strategy meeting to discuss the building of a new children’s ward at the George Hospital was held at the George Lodge. Back row, from left: Dr Martin Viljoen (George Hospital), Andries Grobler (Leap Quantity Surveyors), Leon du Plessis (George Hospital), Ilse Schoonraad (George Herald), Guy Harris (SA Institute for Entrepreneurship), Max Oerder (Ten SA) and Dr Willie Breytenbach (George Hospital). Middle row: Elza Sellars (George Hospital), Erna Theron (Acsa), Laetitia Minnaar (George Hospital), Anne-Marè Syfers (George Hospital), Sharmane Janki (George Hospital), Blyth Thompson (George Hospital Facility Board) and Cornè Nunns (Millers Attorneys). Front row: Karen Nel (SDK Architects Inc), Brenda Vorster (Acsa & George Business Chamber), Michael Vonk (George Hospital), Louise Driver (Children’s Hospital Trust), Rev Michiel Burger (George Hospital Facility Board) and Prof Willie van der Westhuizen (Millers Attorneys).

George Hospital is the only level 2 hospital paediatric facility serving the population of Eden and Central Karoo (approximately 660 000). The current 46-bed paediatric ward is used to treat a broad range of patients, including small babies less than three months, very sick children requiring high care treatment as well as children who undergo surgery (general surgery, orthopaedic, ENT, ophthalmology and occasional neurosurgery). Children with infectious diseases, such as TB, that require isolation during their treatment are also cared for in the paediatric ward.

The hospital is fortunate to have a team of highly skilled and dedicated paediatric doctors and nurses. The quality of the clinical care is reflected in the unit’s excellent clinical outcomes. However, the current ward accommodation does not allow for optimal patient-centred experience and care. The children’s ward has not been upgraded to the same high standard as some of the more recently refurbished parts of the hospital. In particular, the lodging for parents who may come from far and stay with their child in hospital for a few days or even months is inadequate. Parents play a vital role in the care and recovery of children in hospital. The Hospital Facility Board, chaired by Rev Michiel Burger, plans to change this by building a modern facility for children from across the region who are in need of specialist paediatric care.

Dr Willie Cilliers, president of the George Business Chamber, and Max Oerder (Ten SA) hosted a meeting with key stakeholders and potential partners to help clarify the brief for the new ward and inform the development of the business plan take this exciting initiative forward.

A range of experts participated in the meeting and committed themselves to making this project a reality including Louise Driver (CEO – Children’s Hospital Trust); Prof Willie van der Westuhuizen and Corne Nunns (Millers Attorneys); Karen Nel (SDK Architects); Andries Grobler (Leap Quantity Surveyors); Ilse Schoonraad (George Herald) along with members of the hospital board and hospital staff. One of the highlights of the evening was the announcement by Brenda Vorster and Erna Theron (Acsa) that George Airport will this year sponsor new recliners chair-beds in the ward for parents who stay with their children. This momentous announcement will propel the project forward and it is hoped that it will inspire other donors in the community to contribute to this worthy project.

The George Herald and all the Group Editors newspapers in the Eden and Central Karoo districts are committed to further this cause and will keep readers up to date with the project’s progress. For further information about the project, please contact Michael Vonk (CEO – George Hospital) at michael.vonk@westerncape.gov.za)

The George Herald

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