VALKENBERG Hospital starts construction soon on a much-needed new admissions unit, which will improve service delivery to the approximately 2 000 patients who are admitted to the hospital annually.
Construction of the unit takes place after a period of uncertainty in Valkenberg's history. In 1997 Provincial authorities proposed the hospital close its doors but, following public outcry, reversed this decision in 1998. Since then the Health Department and the Friends of Valkenberg Trust have embarked on an ambitious fundraising drive, raising R12.5-million to build the state-of-the-art admission facilities.
Valkenberg, which is the main teaching hospital for the UCT's Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health, is the site of a great deal of the Department's ward-based teaching. Besides creating better facilities for patients, staff and students, Department Head, Professor Brian Robertson, hopes that the new unit will raise the status of psychiatry in the academic arena and make it a more attractive career option.
The new admissions unit will become the heart of the hospital and will comprise an admissions suite, a men's ward and a women's ward.