The newly reconstructed Emergency centre of Swartland Hospital in Malmesbury has officially been opened after a fire gutted the facility three years ago.
The blaze destroyed the wards, and theatre and patient record rooms, seriously impacting on the healthcare capacity in the region.
The reconstruction process started in 2018.
The fire started
in a medical ward and ripped through the building, gutting about 70 percent of the hospital.
76 patients were evacuated from the fa cility as flames quickly spread.
Patients were taken to a nearby church hall, some of them wheeled in their hospital beds Some were discharged while others were transferred to neighbouring hospitals.
Staff members who helped evacuate patients during the fire, say the facility is an important one; not just for Malmesbury, but for surrounding towns and villages Dr Barry Smith is the former hospital manager.
"For the Swartland community you are looking at a community of about 140 000 people in Malmesbury itself, but also the smaller towns around, stretching as far as Moorreesburg, Riebeek Kasteel and
some of the smaller villages like Kalbaskraal and Chatsworth.
We also then have other facilities that depends on Swartland hospital, that will refer patients here if services that are high level is required." The district level hospital, which will be able to accommodate 85 beds once fully commissioned, also has a newly established Covid ward.
The hospital currently provides an emergency, adult and paediatric ward service as well as a basic maternity service.
Surgical services are expected to resume once the theatre is reopened in the next few months.