The Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital has officially opened its doors to patients in its new home, a custom-designed 16-storey facility on Cape Town’s foreshore incorporating state-of-the-art medical technology.

The construction of the new hospital building began in June 2013, and officially launched on Saturday, 3 December 2016, to coincide with the 49th anniversary of the world’s first human heart transplant.

A tribute was paid to this historic moment in world medicine at the event.

“With the opening, our vision of a world class healthcare facility reflecting the spirit of excellence, innovation and sanctity of life cherished by the hospital’s namesake, Professor Christiaan Barnard, became a reality. We look forward to this new chapter in the hospital’s unfolding story, which has thus far been rich in leading-edge medical advances,” said CEO of Netcare, Dr Richard Friedland.

The launch was attended by a number of dignitaries including the MEC for Health in the Western Cape, Dr Nomafrench Mbombo, Cape Town Deputy Mayor, Alderman Ian Neilson, members of the late Professor Barnard’s family, and surviving members of the first human heart transplant team, among others.

Dr Mbombo and the Deputy Chairperson of the Netcare board of directors, Thevendrie Brewer, unveiled a plaque dedicated to the memory of Professor Barnard in the hospital foyer.

The new flagship hospital is expected to become a world class medical precinct and centre of excellence.

A first of its kind in South Africa, the hospital will offer a comprehensive range of primary, secondary and tertiary medical, emergency, diagnostic and rehabilitative services.

The 16-storey building will comprise 248 beds, of which of 61 will be intensive care and high care beds. There are 11 theatres, two cardiac catheterisation laboratories, medical, surgical and paediatric wards, a maternity unit incorporating delivery rooms, a dedicated caesarean theatre and neonatal ICU, as well as doctors’ consulting rooms.

“As we welcome patients to this new centre of healing, the legacy of Professor Barnard and other medical pioneers will live on through the care and hope that that our hospital represents to them,” concluded Dr Friedland.

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