Hospital ushers in new chapter on the Foreshore

Workers putting the finishing touches to the new Christaan Barnard Memorial Hospital on the Foreshore.

The new Christaan Barnard Memorial Hospital is set to open its new premises on the Foreshore at the beginning of next month.

The construction costs of the new building, which has already been inspected by the Department of Health and is ready for action, could be as much as R1 billion.

During a media tour of the new building on Thursday November 24, Dr Richard Friedland, the chief executive officer of Netcare, said they hoped to continue Christaan Barnard’s legacy at the new facility.

Construction of the new hospital began in June 2013.

However, the planning of the new facility goes back to 2007 when Netcare had to make a decision between renovating their Loop Street premises or relocating.

Dr Friedland said the new 16-storey building will have a total of 248 beds, of which 61 would be for intensive care and high care.

There will also be 11 theatres, two cardiac catheterisation laboratories, medical, surgical and paediatric wards, a maternity unit, a dedicated Caesarean theatre and neonatal ICU, as well as doctors’ consulting rooms and eight floors offering public parking. The new hospital also includes an exhibition that is dedicated to Christiaan Barnard and South Africa’s contribution to medicine. The exhibition, said Dr Friedland, was an important part of the new hospital and was vital to understanding the context of apartheid and 1960s South Africa.

“It speaks to human potential, determination and hope in the face of injustice and perceived impossibility.”

It also includes a series of photographs of Cape Town and work by Marco Cianfanellie and the late Jeremy Rose.

Hospital general manager Chris Tilney said operations at the new hospital were set to be up and running by Wednesday December 7, while the patients would be moved through ambulances from the old building over a two-day period.

He said the number of staff would also increase over a period of time to accommodate the new hospital.

Mr Tilney said they were expected to sell the old building in 2017 but he was tight-lipped about the potential buyer.