Over R40m raised for Red Cross Children’s Hospital new Emergency Centre, Cape Town
The Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital hosted a groundbreaking ceremony on Tuesday, 30 April 2019, to build its new emergency centre. So far, the hospital has managed to raise more than R40 million and all of the funds will go to the construction of the centre. The construction of the emergency centre is expected to be completed at the end of 2021. The chairperson of the Children’s Hospital Trust, Randall Titus, who spoke at the event, expressed his gratitude towards the donors. “I’d like to thank our loyal donors for their contributions. It doesn’t just fall out of the sky. The donations by the communities, the donors and our historical donors and I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your contributions. Without your support, we would not have been able to this particular challenge,” Titus said.
Speaking at the event the Provincial Minister of Health, Prof Nomafrench Mbombo, praised the staff of the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital for their hard work and their efforts in fundraising for the new emergency centre.
She stressed the importance of health as a constitutional right and said that investing in health is an economic investment. “What we try to do is show that health is not only about the social issues but it is an economic investment. You cannot divorce health financing. It’s not that you are doing us a favour when we are asking for more budget,” Mbombo said.
The minister also added that access to emergency services and health is a constitutional right. “Remember as South Africans we pride ourselves on having the best constitution but today is all about that. Today is all about that. We talk about Section 27 of the Constitution says that no-one can be denied emergency medical services. Everyone has the right to medical services,” Mbombo said.
Every year the Red Cross Children’s Hospital sees thousands of children who are in need of urgent medical attention. According to the Head of Trauma for the Emergency centre, Professor Sebastian van As the emergency currently sees to 30 - 40 children per day and on average on there 10 000 trauma-related injuries. “It is a privilege to be working there but can be challenging because of the relentless stream of severely traumatized children and the social environment they often come from,” Van As said.
The Head of the Medical Resuscitation Department for the Emergency Centre, Dr Heloise Buys explained that their biggest challenge has been in the increase in patients and the lack of facilities necessary to take care of them. “We are seeing an increasing number of very sick children and it is clear that the needs of our population have outgrown the current infrastructure and we are struggling to accommodate our patients, at times we have to place two children on-one-resuscitation bed-clearly, this hampers our ability to provide true patient-centred care,” Buys said.
In many of the cases, the children and their families have to travel long distances to the Red Cross Hospital to receive the necessary care. This was the case for Tebogo Tsotetsi and her son Molemo. In 2014, a fire broke out the Tsotetsi house because of a faulty plug and Molemo was burned across his body.
Tsotetsi and her son had to travel to the Red Cross Children’s Hospital from Gauteng for treatment. Molemo had to receive treatment within three months but due to a long waiting period, he would only receive treatment at a later stage. His last treatment was in October 2018.
Buys explained that the new emergency centre will be a solution to these challenges that the staff currently face. “Responding to this challenge involves improving the space and layout of the unit - this will make a huge impact on the efficiency and patient-centred experience and will allow us as emergency care providers to children, to operate within the parameters and standards of the Western Cape Government DoH by making a positive impact on our patient outcomes every day,” Buys said.
The chief executive officer of the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital explained that the upgrade will bring about important changes in order to help their patients. These changes include specialised units of care with the emergency centre, burns room, child protection room, family counselling rooms and so on.
“A family-friendly environment provides much-needed care and support for families as they are going through a very difficult time,” Cooper said.
Source: Weekend Argus