Health Management OurHealth

Tshepong Hospital new unit to ease bed shortage

Written by Joba Matsheng

The North West’s Tshepong Hospital has opened a new 36-bed ward for recuperating patients needing additional care prior to discharge. The unit is expected to free up beds for more serious cases.

Godfrey Mnisi (right) greets North West MEC for Health Dr. Magome at the opening of Tshepong Hospital's new step down ward. Mnisi was admitted after drinking poison.

Godfrey Mnisi (right) greets North West MEC for Health Dr. Magome at the opening of Tshepong Hospital’s new step-down ward. Mnisi was admitted after drinking poison.

North West patients needing prolonged nursing and other supportive care before being discharged home can now stay longer at Tshepong Hospital after the hospital opened a new ward on 26 June.

According to officials, the Klerksdorp/ Tshepong Hospital complex has a bed occupancy rate of about 96 percent – an occupancy far above the district average of 75 percent.

Once admitted, hospital patients stay an average of eight days in hospital – this is almost twice as long as the average patient stay nationally, according to the latest District Health Barometer.

Factors like these and a growing population served by the hospital all put pressure on beds that should be reserved for seriously ill patients.

Opening the ward, the North West MEC for Health Dr. Magome Masike said the new ward will provide a place for patients who are no longer seriously ill but also not quite ready to go home. This may include patients who have become permanently disabled following an illness and may need occupational therapy.

Godfrey Mnisi is one of the ward’s first new patients after he was admitted in critical condition after drinking poison. Now in stable condition, Mnisi praised hospital staff.

“The hospital staff has done a great done helping me,” he told OurHealth. “My situation has improved a lot since the first day I got here.”

Masike added that it was important that family members take an active role in helping patients recover by ensuring they understood what was required of both them and patients following patients’ discharge.

About the author

Joba Matsheng

Joba Matsheng is an OurHealth Journalist in Dr Kenneth Kaunda District in North West.