The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), in partnership with the SA Medical and Education Foundation (Same) and the Gauteng Department of Health, officially opened the new occupational therapy and sports facilities at Sterkfontein Psychiatric Hospital in October.
The project, unveiled in October to mark Mental Health Awareness Month, was earmarked as a Nelson Mandela Centenary Legacy Project by the IDC, and was launched on Mandela Day this year. Since the launch, the hospital has received a complete upgrade and refurbishment of its occupational therapy library and media centre, restaurant, kitchen, and tuckshop. A new multi-purpose sports facility was also established, with a new soccer field, athletics track, tennis and netball courts, clubhouse, change rooms and ablution facilities.
Speaking about the importance of investing in mental healthcare, Tyrone Pols of Same said, “In the wake of the Life Esidimeni tragedy, the importance of having a strategic focus on improving healthcare services to vulnerable groups such as the mentally ill cannot be underestimated. At the hearings of the South African Human Rights Commission, it was stated that the mortality rate of people with mental illness is 2,5 times higher than that of the general population. This shows the immense need for specialised facilities such as Sterkfontein Hospital.”
The hospital serves as a referral centre for most central, regional and district hospitals in southern Gauteng and parts of the North West province.
The new facilities are extremely important to the treatment and rehabilitation of hundreds of patients. The hospital is also a training institute for Wits University, University of Johannesburg, North West University, University of Pretoria, and the Ann Latsky and Chris Hani Baragwanath Nursing Colleges.
To view some before and after photos of the renovations, visit the News’ website www.krugersdorpnews.co.za and click on the gallery section.
Do you perhaps have more information pertaining to this story? Email us at [email protected] (remember to include your contact details) or phone us on 011 955 1130.
For free daily local news on the West Rand, also visit our sister newspaper websites