Leratong hospital gets R6 million upgrade

SA Medical & Education Foundation (SAME Foundation) is a NPO based in both the Western Cape and Gauteng. Our sole mission is to create equal Health Care no matter what your station in life.

SAME Foundation has renovated and re-equipped Leratong Hospital with top-of-the-range Welch Allan technology, released in Germany in July, it is the only hospital in South Africa (state or private) to be equipped with the new technology and the first hospital in the world to have as much of the equipment.

Leratong Hospital, in Chamdor, Gauteng, is a 900 bed regional hospital that serves a catchment area of 1.5 million people. On the 16th May a ground breaking ceremony for the renovations and equipping of Leratong Emergency and accident unit was held. Exactly three months later on the 16 August the unit was completed and officially opened by the MEC of Health and Social Development Ms. Ntombi Mekgwe.

 3 phase upgrade

This is part of a R10 million project to be done in 3 phases. Thanks to major donations from Silverstar Casino R1.5 million, Truworths R1.5 million, the IDC R920 000, Pareto R750 000 , Eskom R500 000, and Nedbank R414 000, we completed the first and second phases of the project; the Accident and Emergency Unit and the reception area.

Phase 1 incorporated renovations of the unit with the idea of creating more bed space. We successfully changed the unit from a 15 bed to a 32 bed unit. We have created a new 2 bed gynaecology area, a 3 bed paediatric unit, 6 bedded resuscitation area and 21 beds for the accident unit.

 All beds have diagnostic and monitoring equipment and because of the size of the resuscitation area, we have installed a central monitoring station so if any patient is in distress the medical staff will be alerted immediately.

Phase 2 involved the restructuring and renovating of the Hospital's reception area. Due to the large amount of patients using the hospital, it was vitally important to restructure the reception area to enable patients to be seen to efficiently, as well as creating patient comfort and creating a positive working environment for the staff. The hospital is going to get more upgrades and renovations as the next project of the SAME Foundation is the P3 Walk-in Casualty, due to be completed before the end of the festive season.

Hospitals in crisis

Hospitals in South Africa have reached a crisis. The lack of funding has led to the ageing of vital lifesaving equipment. The needs of our Regional and Rural Hospitals are immense. State budgets have had to cover primary healthcare throughout South Africa. This has led to most Hospital budgets being cut especially when it comes to medical equipment. The hospitals we are currently working with do not have infrastructure to deal with HIV/TB or do not have sufficient equipment in their trauma units.

The lack of the equipment constitutes a hazard for the patients needing treatment and is a definite de-motivating factor for the medical staff. Leratong has been described as one of the worst hospitals in Gauteng and as a result have lost Doctors and nursing staff. This is certainly true of many State Hospitals that are under equipped and in major need of renovations. Having just handed over the newly renovated Pholosong Hospital Accident and Emergency Unit on the 10th of May 2011, a R3.5 Million project, the impact of a properly equipped hospital has been immense on both the community and medical staff.

With the governments statement that state facilities need to be upgraded within the next 5 years for the NHI system to work, SAME Foundation is making large inroads into ensuring that depleted, overused and underequipped state facilities which serve 80% of the population, are on par or better than current private healthcare facilities.

(Press release, August 2011)

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