Construction of the state-of-the-art, new purpose-designed Netcare Alberton Hospital, on the grounds of the former Newmarket racecourse, is taking good shape with the facility expected to open its doors to patients in April next year.
At the peak of the construction, the mega-project offered employment to more than 800 local people, more than 90 local companies were utilised, and in excess of R200 million has been spent on local businesses and suppliers.
“The Alberton community has been steadily growing, and so too has the demand for quality private health-care services by communities in the area. Given the number of highly specialised medical treatments provided at Netcare Union and Netcare Clinton hospitals, patients from as far afield as Mpumalanga and other neighbouring provinces, as well as from neighbouring countries, are also regularly referred to the hospitals for treatment,” said Jacques du Plessis, managing director of Netcare’s hospital division.
“For over a decade, we have been planning towards relocating Netcare Union and Netcare Clinton hospitals to a single, ultra-modern health-care facility that will integrate the range of services currently available at the two existing hospitals.”
He said the decision to merge the two hospitals into one flagship facility and relocate it to a better positioned site was taken after extensive studies to explore possible solutions, as the existing hospitals lacked the necessary space and capacity to cater for the growing demand and the need for necessary upgrades.
“Expanding and upgrading the current facilities was not a viable option,” said Du Plessis.
The 427-bed hospital in the Newmarket development precinct is conveniently located for residents of the greater Alberton area and is also easily accessible for patients from further afield.
“Numerous technologically advanced and environmentally sustainable features form an integral part of the new facility’s design. Valuable input has been obtained from dozens of building professionals, as well as the specialist physicians practising at the existing two hospitals, to ensure that all of the daily operations within the facility will be optimally streamlined,” said Du Plessis.
“Considerable planning has also gone into incorporating patient comfort and convenience in the design. The layout of the new facility will ensure minimal disruption to patients when they require tests, scans or procedures, as these services will be easily accessible from the wards.”
The modern maternity unit with a dedicated Caesarean theatre, neonatal and paediatric intensive care units (ICUs), which are currently based at Netcare Clinton Hospital, will be housed in a secure, spacious and self-contained area on the third floor.
Netcare Union Hospital’s specialised cardiac unit including cardiac theatre, ICU and catheterisation laboratory, dedicated hybrid, vascular and laminar flow theatres and sleep laboratory will also have their own purpose-designed and digitally-enabled facilities within Netcare Alberton Hospital.
“Communities in the region will be reassured to know that the emergency department based at Netcare Union Hospital, which houses one of only three private Level I accredited trauma centres in the country, will be expanded in the new hospital and continue to provide life-saving care to patients from across the region,” said Du Plessis.
“The new hospital design provides for ease of access for emergency vehicles and emergency helicopters, enabling emergency and inter-hospital air ambulance transfers from a larger geographical area. The Netcare 911 base to be established on the premises will work seamlessly with the emergency department to provide pre-hospital emergency care at the scene of accidents or medical emergencies and en route to the emergency department.”
New specialist physicians and those currently practising at Netcare Union and Netcare Clinton hospitals will be accommodated in “comfortable” consulting rooms towards the front of the hospital, adjacent to the wards and intensive care units. Ancillary health-care services will be based close to the consulting rooms for the added convenience of doctors and patients alike.
“We are very grateful to residents for their patience during this construction phase. To help minimise disruption as far as possible to surrounding traffic on Ring Road East and Voortrekker Road, construction materials destined for the site are being transported using a gravel construction road,” Du Plessis says.
Du Plessis thanked the community for their continued support of the two existing hospitals that will be amalgamated in the new facility.
“The ultra-modern consolidated facility will add considerable value through enhancing health-care services and infrastructure of the area. We look forward to sharing further details on the progress of the project with the community in the coming months,” he said.