North West Health on Witrand hospital

Witrand Hospital now caters for Psycho Geriatric patients

Potchefstroom- Witrand Hospital will now cater for patients in need of Psycho Geriatric care and those presenting with behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia. This came after the official opening of a 38 bed Geriatric Psychiatry Care Unit and Community Psychiatric Unit at Witrand Hospital by MEC for Health Dr Magome Masike last Friday, 29 July 2016.

The construction of both Geriatric Psychiatry Care and Community Psychiatric Units started on the 31 August 2012 and was completed on the 9th of March 2016. The total expenditure for construction of this state of the art facilities amounts to R147, 431 932.49. The finalised and completed Community Psychiatric Care Unit has 60 beds.

This newly built state of the art facilities will provide care and assessment to referral patients from across the Province.

According to Witrand Hospital CEO Mme Naledi Mocwaledi-Senyane both the unit will operate on a referral basis and during their stay; patients will be assessed by specialists including doctors, occupational therapists, geriatric psychiatrists, nurses, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, rehabilitation assistants, pharmacists, social workers nurses and dieticians.

"This is a first of its kind Geriatric Psychiatry Care Unit in the province and it ushers a new era of quality mental health care services not only to the people of Dr Kenneth Kaunda District Municipality but to the residents of Bokone Bophirima Province as a whole," said jubilant Mocwaledi-Senyane.

The records show that health infrastructure programme in the province has been expanded significantly since 1994. Every new financial year the department has been building new clinics and community health centres. Despite all this, MEC Masike said that there is still more that needs to be done.

"I am happy that today we are opening yet another health care facility to care for those suffering from various mental illnesses after we have opened a completely new Psychiatric Hospital in Mahikeng. We have no time to rest in our quest to address health service delivery backlogs particularly in ensuring access to decent and quality health care services.

Paramount to our approach is preventative primary health care services. We don't compromise when it comes to health care services.

"As we build new facilities, we also continue to assess state of existing structures and equipments in all these facilities and endeavour to equip them with more advanced state of the art machinery," said MEC Masike

"Decent residents of Bokone Bophirima deserve decent facilities", he said

MEC Masike went on to challenge communities and community leaders where these facilities are being built, to look after them as they are essential to their health and that of the future generation.

Recently the department embarked in a process of taking the mental health service nearer to communities. Numbers of hospitals in the province are now listed as 72 hour psychiatric observation units where only observation will be done. Once the observation is completed, the patient will be transferred to the nearest designated hospital for further care, treatment and rehabilitation.

The purpose of the 72-hour assessment is to ascertain the cause of the patient's symptoms. Patients are assessed daily by a medical doctor, psychiatric trained registered nurse and a psychiatrist. Most substance intoxicated patients would recover from their intoxication during this period. Those patients requiring further involuntary treatment would be transferred to a designated psychiatric hospital for further management.

Source: Department of Trade and Industry

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