After a brief closure the past week, the Crestcare Zoutpansberg Private Hospital’s casualty department was reopened to attend to the community’s medical emergencies.  

Casualty department closure done to align 'old' with 'new'


Residents of Makhado were left wondering what was happening at the newly opened Crestcare Zoutpansberg Private Hospital in Louis Trichardt the past week, after a notice issued by the hospital was circulated on social media stating that their casualty department would be closed from 1 July until further notice. It turned out that they had nothing to worry about.

The notice, issued by Mr Kobus Nel (Crestcare Transitional Hospital Manager), stated that they would use this time "to conduct equipment reviews and maintenance of the unit, while also giving the unit a basic 'facelift' as part of the process of aligning ourselves with the requirements of the Department of Health (DOH) as well as the Office of Health Standards Compliance (OHSC)." Nel also apologised for any inconvenience caused by the closure.

In response to the notice, the newspaper sent a media enquiry to Nel to find out what the direct impact of this decision would be on the residents of the Makhado area. More details regarding the reason for the closure were also requested. Concerning "aligning ourselves with the requirements of the Department of Health (DOH) as well as the Office of Health Standards Compliance (OHSC)", the newspaper also wanted to know whether the closure might have been because the casualty department was not up to standard.

Nel was quick to respond to the newspaper’s media enquiry and put residents' minds at ease.

"With the casualty department being part of the previous smaller hospital building, there does, however, exist a stark contrast in the aesthetic appearance between 'the old' and 'the new' buildings, and Crestcare as a Group would like to be able to offer our community the same professional and aesthetically pleasing surroundings where patients and their families in need can experience a holistically calming and emotionally supportive environment that will assist in reducing stress levels when there is a need for emergency care," said Nel. Having said this, Crestcare has redesigned the patient movement within the casualty department to facilitate a more streamlined and efficient flow that will allow better health-care provision during emergency care. "With that, we will also address the appearance of the casualty department to reflect a similar style to the new building’s design," said Nel in a written response on Tuesday afternoon.

Nel explained that to achieve this, the first stage of these changes required the removal of fixed wall units, a process that would potentially create a dangerous environment where they could not attend to medical emergencies responsibly. "These units have now been removed and the casualty department is once again open to assist our community with medical emergencies," said Nel. He thanked the casualty doctors and emergency staff for their unwavering commitment and dedication and commended them for their enthusiasm to remain open in support of the community’s needs.

Nel also recapped the hospital's successes over the past few months, stating that the new Crestcare Zoutpansberg Hospital had been extremely well received by Louis Trichardt/Makhado residents and the utilisation of the new hospital clearly supported the findings of their initial needs analysis that was done prior to the commencement of the construction of the hospital. "From January 2024 until the end of June 2024, we have performed 1,035 surgical procedures for members of the Makhado community, assisted in the delivery of 272 babies, and our casualty department has attended to more than 1,010 patients," said Nel.

As for the question regarding whether the closure might have been due to the casualty department’s not being up to standard, Nel’s response was clear: "We have recently received both the Department of Health (DOH) and the Office of Health Standards Compliance (OHSC) inspection/audit reviews and have passed both inspections with flying colours and excellent comments."

At the time of our going to press, the Crestcare Zoutpansberg casualty department was once again open and fully functional.



Date:05 July 2024

By: Andries van Zyl

Andries joined the Zoutpansberger and Limpopo Mirror in April 1993 as a darkroom assistant. Within a couple of months he moved over to the production side of the newspaper and eventually doubled as a reporter. In 1995 he left the newspaper group and travelled overseas for a couple of months. In 1996, Andries rejoined the Zoutpansberger as a reporter. In August 2002, he was appointed as News Editor of the Zoutpansberger, a position he holds until today.

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