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Adapting during a crisis

05 May 2021 Bonitas Medical Fund
Preparations being made to get the Hall ready to screen, register and vaccinate for Covid-19 vaccination roll out

Preparations being made to get the Hall ready to screen, register and vaccinate for Covid-19 vaccination roll out

The revamped hall has been repurposed into a meeting, conference and event venue and soon will be the hospital’s official vaccination station

The revamped hall has been repurposed into a meeting, conference and event venue and soon will be the hospital’s official vaccination station

The former nurses’ dining hall received a much-needed revamp

The former nurses’ dining hall received a much-needed revamp

‘An individual can make a difference but a team can make a miracle’

The RK Khan Hospital in KZN is one of the sites selected by the Department of Health (DoH) as an official Covid-19 vaccination station. The location chosen to screen, register and vaccinate is the former nurses’ dining hall. A large space, that has been repurposed several times over the past year, to accommodate the global pandemic.

It was late in 2019, when the RK Khan Hospital hall received a much-needed revamp. Due to its size and multi-functional space, the hall was being altered from a nurses dining hall into a meeting, conference and event venue to accommodate around 200 people. However, it desperately needed a refurbishment which was undertaken as part of a Corporate Social Investment (CSI) initiative by Bonitas Medical Fund.

In support of the DoH’s strategic plan for sustainable health solutions, the Fund, together with the DoH, earmarked four hospitals/clinics in four Provinces to receive support.

The projects varied according to the most urgent needs at the healthcare facilities, all with a common goal: To upgrade facilities to benefit the hospital, staff and the communities they serve.
It was a phased work schedule to allow Bonitas employees to get involved and ‘give back’. The RK Khan Hospital Hall was one of the four facilities identified and upgraded. The other refurbishment projects were at: The Job Shimankana Tabane Provincial Hospital (Rustenburg), Dr George Mukhari Academic Hospital (Ga-Rankuwa) and the Thembisa Hospital (Gauteng).

‘As the medical aid for South Africa, we strive to make quality healthcare more accessible and more affordable. It is our firm belief that collaboration between the public and private healthcare sectors is essential to uplift the healthcare ecosystem of the country,’ said Lee Callakoppen, Principal Officer of Bonitas

The hospitals were strategically selected based on need and aligned to the geographic footprint of Bonitas membership base.

‘The project rollout plan included us assisting both financially and being hands on in the upgrades,’ said Callakoppen. ‘We are proud of the positive impact of these refurbishment projects. The RK Khan Hospital is perfect example, having repurposed the upgraded hall to deal with the immediate and changing healthcare needs of the community.’

According to Ms Mbali Mthalane, PR Officer at RK Khan Hospital the hall became the ‘go-to’ place for meetings during the first wave of the Covid-19 outbreak. ‘It allowed staff to maintain social distancing while holding urgent meetings about the pandemic. Now, a year later, the hall will again be used in the fight Covid-19. This time it will be the hospital’s official vaccination station comprising screening and registration points, four vaccination stations, a post vaccination observation point and an emergency resuscitation area.’

‘The hall is truly an asset to our hospital as it has provided us with a clean, airy and aesthetically appealing, multi-functional space. We are ever so grateful to Bonitas for the facelift.’

‘We are pleased the investment we made 18 months ago has paid dividends in terms of real on-the-ground solutions to the healthcare environment and community,’ said Callakoppen. ‘There is still much to be done but this is a first step in a process of establishing partnerships to try and address and solve some of the public healthcare challenges, while upgrading facilities for both the staff and patients.’

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