Africa-Press – South-Africa. It was a morning of fun and entertainment as staff at Groot Schuur Hospital celebrated the institution’s 85th birthday today (Tuesday 31 January).
The hospital is one of Cape Town’s premier tertiary academic hospitals and was officially opened in 1938.
During a celebratory concert, staff members were entertained by MC Quinton Manuels while local musicians Karen Kortje, Keanu Harker, Nhoza Sitsholwana and Winston Siljeur kept them on their feet with their rhythmic tunes.
The hospital gained global fame in December 1967 when a young surgeon named Dr Christiaan Barnard completed the world’s first successful human heart transplant.
Internationally, the facility is renowned as the training ground for some of South Africa’s best doctors, surgeons and nurses.
Vincent Rossouw, Head of Support Services, Infrastructure and Facilities Management, says he started as a storekeeper at the hospital 40 years ago.
Having worked his way up the ladder, the Strandfontein resident is now responsible for the upkeep of and upgrades to the institution.
He supervises about 600 personnel.
Rossouw says: “Once you start here at the hospital, it’s like a magnet. There is never a dull moment. I have worked under CEOs. There has been a lot of change, infrastructure-wise. We have three roads leading to the hospital. The building of the new hospital was also quite big.”
Rossouw says the teamwork and camaraderie from staff are what keep him going each day.
Nurse Willencia Christians, operational manager in the Otorhinolaryngology Department, has been working at the hospital for 25 years and says she still finds satisfaction in her job.
“It is a privilege to work here, it is a good hospital. There are lots of opportunities and lots of services that we offer the patients.”
Christians says being a nurse does have its challenges but says she is passionate about nursing.
“Our commitment to our patients and delivering a service to patients are what keep me motivated and kept me here for the past few years.”
Tracey Morris, operational manager in the Trauma and Emergency Unit, says she started her nursing career at the hospital 36 years ago.
“I like looking after and being there for people. My mother was a nurse as well. It is so nice working here; you feel part of a family. You have your ups and downs but there are a lot more ups than downs.”
Kortje thanked the hospital’s staff for their dedication and commitment.
“It is a privilege to be performing here and to celebrate this event. The staff must enjoy the celebration and I want to thank them for what they are doing for our people.”
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