Victoria Hospital’s revamped paediatric department unveiled

Head of paediatrics at Victoria Hospital Dr Gill Schermbrucker shows visitors a newly upgraded part of the paediatric department. Picture: Bheki Radebe

Five private consultation rooms, a therapy room and a playground are just some of the new additions to Victoria Hospital’s paediatric department.

Construction on the R10 million project was completed in March and it was unveiled to the public on Thursday August 24.

The hospital’s CEO, Jonathan Vaughan, said it was important to have a facility that looked welcoming so that patients, no matter whether they were rich or poor, felt respected and well cared for.

The hospital’s head of paediatrics, Dr Gill Schermbrucker, said children’s welfare depended on healthy families and healthy communities.

“We hope to play our part in strengthening the safety network around our children, who come from extremely vulnerable socio-economic backgrounds. This requires a shift from a predominantly medical model focusing on children surviving towards a more integrated care model that sees children thriving,” she said.

Cinderella Mavundla, a former paediatrics patient, who is now in her final year of studies for a communication degree, said the facility now had a lot more space from when she had been there.

“It was very traumatising on children: they wanted to run around, then they would get in the way of the doctors and nurses,” she recalled.

She said she “absolutely loved” the look of the new facility. “In every bit of it, I see the care, the energy that was put into these resources.”

Another former patient, Jennifer Obiajunwa, who is now a Stellenbosch University student, said: “It’s basically a better place now because parents and children would travel from far areas in public transport and come back with fatigue, and children just want to play around. So this will allow them to be comfortable in this space.”

Former patients of Victoria Hospital’s paediatric department Cinderella Mavundla, left, and Jennifer Obiajunwa. Picture: Bheki Radebe
A new consultation room at Victoria Hospital’s paediatric department. Picture: Bheki Radebe
A colourful mural adorns a corridor in the hospital’s revamped paediatric department. Picture: Bheki Radebe