If you looked back to see what Netcare Greenacres Hospital was like 30 years ago, you could be forgiven for not recognising it as the modern, multi-disciplinary healthcare facility that has become such an intrinsic part of the “the friendly city”.
“In the early days, the hospital was much smaller and offered only basic services,” says Netcare Greenacres Hospital acting general manager, Dina Botha.
“When the hospital – then known as Poli Clinic – opened its doors on 1 August 1985, it had only 10 beds, a casualty unit with three resuscitation bays and a two-bed treatment room, a pharmacy and two theatres,” Botha explains. “Radiologists, Drs Vosloo & Partners, offered an X-ray service next to the two ground floor theatres.”
Poli Clinic was taken over by Netcare in 1997, with Tony Futter as hospital manager. Futter was later promoted to the position of Netcare director for what was then referred to as the Cape region.
Today, the hospital can look back with pride on how far it has come since those humble beginnings. “We now have 340 beds in the hospital, including 223 medical and surgical general adult beds, 23 paediatric beds, 15 obstetric beds and 19 day beds. We also have 35 adult intensive care beds, seven neonatal intensive care beds, 18 adult high care beds, as well as an emergency department with eight examination and four resuscitation bays.”
In addition, the hospital now has 14 operating theatres: including two urology theatres, two general theatres, one trauma theatre, one endoscopy theatre, six laminar flow theatres and a cardiac theatre.
Experienced specialists provide highly specialised treatment in a range of healthcare disciplines. These include cardiology, neurology, gynaecology/obstetrics as well as bariatric, cardio-thoracic, ear, nose and throat, maxillofacial, neuro, vascular, plastic and reconstructive, and orthopaedic surgery.
Netcare Greenacres Hospital remains at the forefront of cardiac care, having completed expansions and upgrades to its cardiac facility late last year. Botha says a range of specialised cardiac services, such as paediatric cardiac treatment, is provided within the cardiac centre, which in addition to the dedicated cardiac theatre, comprises two cardiac catheterisation laboratories, an electrophysiology (EP) unit, a coronary care unit, cardio-thoracic ward, and a dedicated intensive care unit (ICU).
Glenda Paton, who works as a file assessor in the hospital’s billing department, has witnessed the positive changes first hand. Paton is the longest-serving employee of the hospital and has worked there since the age of 25, when Poli Clinic first opened.
“For the first five years I worked as an assistant nurse. As the hospital grew, I gained experience working in the orthopaedic and medical wards. I still miss the interaction with patients, especially the elderly people. However, I know that the work I do now is also a vital part of the service we provide our patients,” Paton says.
One patient from the hospital’s early days is Hester Herselman, who this year celebrated her 75th birthday, 26 years after undergoing life saving open-heart surgery. Hester was the first patient to have this type of procedure at a Port Elizabeth private hospital, and was operated on by cardiothoracic surgeon Dr Mervyn Williams.
At the time, in 1989, the hospital had just established an open-heart surgery unit and, according to Dr Williams, it took patients three to six months to recover fully from open-heart surgery in those days.
“There have been tremendous advances in technology, such as much more sophisticated surgical equipment and techniques, safer anaesthesia, as well as advanced diagnostic technology and non-invasive treatment options,” notes Dr Williams, who has been retired for the past seven years.
Botha adds that Netcare Greenacres Hospital has embraced ongoing improvement as one of its defining characteristics. “We are about to embark on a further expansion project, which is expected to take around 10 months. The construction project will see the main reception being upgraded and the addition of a coffee shop, doctors’ suites, a management suite and administrative office space.”
“The hospital has grown from strength to strength over the past 30 years and we have no intention of resting on our laurels now. We look forward to further improvements and advances in patient care in the decades to come,” concludes Botha.
Issued by: Martina Nicholson Associates (MNA) on behalf of Netcare Greenacres Hospital
Contact : Martina Nicholson, Graeme Swinney, Sarah Wilson or Meggan Saville
Telephone: (011) 469 3016
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