Staff, healthcare practitioners and management at Netcare Kuils River Hospital are this month looking back on memorable moments and noteworthy achievements, as the facility celebrates 20 years in service to local residents and neighbouring Winelands communities.
According to Dirk Truter, general manager at Netcare Kuils River Hospital, the facility will be marking the important milestone with special staff days every Friday, an event to thank long supporting doctors practising at the hospital, and a gala event at the end of the month to round off the activities.
“Hospitals form an important part of community life and have the privilege of serving and caring for patients when they need medical care. This has certainly been the case at our hospital, where we have borne witness to some of the most meaningful moments in the lives of our patients and their families for the past 20 years.
|Pic: Dirk Truter, general manager of Netcare Kuils River Hospital, cuts the cake to celebrate the hospital’s 20th anniversary in service to local communities.
|Pic: Haematology unit manager Sr Daleen Buist, left, with cardiac care unit manager Sr Elmarie Isaacs, right. Sr Isaacs has been with the hospital since the day it first opened 20 years ago.
“In more recent years, the story of little baby Hope Daniels who was born by emergency caesarean at 24 weeks and weighed just 300g, comes immediately to mind. She was one of the smallest micro premature babies in terms of birth weight to have ever survived in South Africa.
“This tiny little patient spent more than nine months in our neonatal intensive care unit before she was deemed healthy enough to be discharged. There are many here who will always remember the day that baby Hope got to go home with her parents, Dorianne and Lesley – their ‘miracle’ baby. She has since grown into a healthy and active little girl who was recently blessed with a baby sister, and the family is doing well,” said Truter.
Dr Robert ‘Buddy’ Johnson, an emergency doctor who has been practising at Netcare Kuils River Hospital since it first opened its doors in 2002, notes just how entrenched the hospital has become within the community.
“When we started out in those early days it was very quiet and we had perhaps one or two patients visiting our emergency department. Over time this has of course changed, and we are now seeing around 80 patients per day.
“There is very much a sense of support and community spirit at our hospital. In fact, when I gave a speech at our Nurses’ Day celebration this year I looked out at all the familiar faces and felt a deep connection between us all. We have forged meaningful working relationships over the years. There have even been babies of colleagues that I have helped to deliver – babies that have grown up and gone on to study medicine themselves in some cases,” said Dr Johnson.
Another Netcare Kuils River Hospital veteran, cardiac care unit manager, Sr Elmarie Isaacs, shared her memories of the very first day when the hospital opened to the public. “In the hours leading up to the opening we were still getting ready to receive our first patients, bringing in beds and moving stock into the hospital in the pouring rain.
“So much has changed and developed since then. Over these 20 years, my colleagues and I have experienced some of the most challenging moments you can have as a healthcare worker, as well as some of the most rewarding ones. Throughout this time, I have seen the hospital grow from strength to strength and I cannot imagine myself being anywhere else,” she said.
Truter concluded by thanking the close knit community of healthcare workers at the facility and the people of Kuils River and surrounding areas. “As we pause to reflect on the history of our hospital, we wish to take a moment to thank our dedicated staff and the doctors who choose to practise here for their tireless commitment to providing the best and safest care to our patients.
“We also wish to express sincere gratitude to our patients and their families for the many years of support they have shown us. We at Netcare Kuils River Hospital are very glad to call this our home and look forward to continuing serving our communities,” concluded Truter.
Notes to editor
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