New R1m emergency ward for Frere

Frere Hospital
Frere Hospital
Image: File/Nigel Louw

Health MEC Sindiswa Gomba officially opened a freshly renovated accident and emergency ward at Frere Hospital on Monday.

Gomba said the new ward came into being after it came to light in July that the hospital's accident and emergency section was so full that people had to sleep on the floor because there was no bed for them. Daily Dispatch reporter Malibongwe Dayimani won a Vodacom regional award for his exposé of the situation.

The 25-bed ward at the hospital’s C1 was renovated by the Road Accident Fund (RAF) at a cost of R1m. Gomba said the department was deeply grateful to the RAF.

“Our luck was that while as the department we were starting to think we don’t have money, the Road Accident Fund came on board. They saved the department a lot of money. They took the whole strain of renovating this ward,” she said.

The MEC said they had been planning to use old hospital beds from storage but RAF provided  brand new beds.

C1 ward fell into disuse when Cecilia Makiwane accommodated Frere's mental health patients.

RAF acting chief strategy officer Phuthutshedzo Lukhwareni said the fund came on board as part of their corporate social responsibility.

“We do this across the country, identifying projects where we can make a contribution. Our main focus is on areas where we can assist road accident victims. This is a typical project where road accident victims can be assisted. We did our research and discovered that most of the patients who were coming to casualty were victims of road accidents, but there was not enough space for them,” he said.

“This project is a clear indication that we are aligned to victims, we are interested in them recovering and in their rehabilitation. As part of their recovery process, it is important that they get the necessary care they need.”