Changes at day hospital over the years

Sister M Treu weights a baby in the early years of the Mitchells Plain Community Health Centre, formerly known as the day hospital.

Mitchell’s Plain Community Health Centre (CHC), formerly known as the day hospital, started out as three council houses in 1983, which were converted into day clinics.

The 72-square metre houses were each converted into a small reception pharmacy, consulting room and a waiting area for the clients, staffed with a professional nurse, a staff nurse and a doctor.

In 1986, under the House of Representatives of the Cape Provincial Administration (CPA), a day hospital was opened in First Avenue, Eastridge, Mitchell’s Plain.

The staff from the clinics were among the first employees to work at the newly completed Mitchell’s Plain day hospital, among them present-day pharmacist Sulaiman Noordien.

The service area for Mitchell’s Plain at the time stretched from Westridge to Beacon Valley and Tafelsig up to AZ Berman Drive.

In January 1993, the Community Health Services Organisation, which took over from CPA, officially closed Woodstock hospital, and the staff who lived near the day hospital was transferred here.

The day hospital, under the leadership of three sisters, between 1993 and 1995, provided basic health care services to approximately 300 people a day during the eight hours they were open, and an emergency room was later established.

The growing population of Mitchell’s Plain soon required more staff, more resources and a bigger package of services.

By 1995 the day hospital was under the leadership of Sister Florence Everts, with its services expanding rapidly.

By 2003 Mitchell’s Plain CHC services were attending to about 900 patients a day.

Under the management of Louise Appolis, the facility opened its first HIV clinic.

The facility soon became too small for the number of people visiting daily and it was also providing support services to seven city clinics. In addition to this, it had established mental health clinics at five other sites.

Sister Patsy Collins (also known as Pepe) was awarded the Provincial Cecilia Makawane Excellence award on November 5 2005. In 1986, she had moved from a satellite clinic in Lobelia Street, in Lentegeur, to the CHC.

She worked with the district surgeons screening, assisting and treating rape survivors and later she moved to Polka Square in the Town Centre to do do Pap smears, family planning, and pre abortion counselling.

After the facility’s building expansion was approved, construction started in June 2007/2008 and was completed in October 2010.

Recently the Plainsman reported that the facility is expanding its main reception area to create a more spacious waiting area for patients and staff, and to improve patient-flow (“Residents want a piece of the building pie”, Plainsman, June 26).