Netcare’s new flagship hospital on the Foreshore in Cape Town is the first phase of a development that will culminate in medical precinct, offering primary, secondary and tertiary medical, emergency, diagnostic and rehabilitative services.
The site of the original Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital, started life in 1969 as a commercial building and parking garage, before it was converted and opened as City Park Hospital in 1983.
In July 2007, Netcare initiated a feasibility study to determine whether the hospital should be renovated or relocated. It indicated that renovating the 17-storey structure while running the hospital efficiently would have posed many logistical difficulties, as well as considerable inconvenience for patients, doctors, visitors and staff members.
“A comprehensive building audit revealed that the cost of renovation would be 95% of the projected cost of developing a new, purpose-built hospital. And so, by November 2009, a decision was taken to move the hospital, and the search started for the location that would become the home of the new Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital,” recalls Dr Richard Friedland, chief executive officer of Netcare.
“After evaluating 32 different sites, the final choice was the corner of Rue Bartholemeu Dias Plain and DF Malan Street, then a dusty and unused parking lot.
“Building in the central business district of Cape Town presented challenges of its own but, fortunately, the design principles underpinning the construction of the new building were centred around flexibility and enabling growth. This meant that the hospital would not only be designed to readily accommodate expansion over time, but that its infrastructure would be able to accommodate state-of-the-art technology, such as robotic theatre equipment,” adds Friedland.