Main image: An artist’s impression of Netcare Akeso Gqeberha mental health facility, which is currently under construction in Walmer.
Netcare Akeso establishes E Cape presence
Construction is underway for a new private mental health care facility, in Gqeberha, which will house the first Netcare Akeso facility in the Eastern Cape, boosting mental healthcare capacity in the city and surrounding areas.
“The new facility, to be known as Netcare Akeso Gqeberha, is being developed within the city’s spatial development framework for growth, on a property that was previously a guesthouse, and that Walmer residents will know as the former location of Leo’s Restaurant,” says Emma Hooyberg, commercial manager of Netcare Akeso.
“The site which is centrally located in the established suburb of Walmer was handed over to the main contractor, GVK Siya-Zama, on 20 January 2022 and site establishment and demolition began immediately. A 12 month construction period has been planned for, and we expect to be open for our first admissions by early May 2023.”
A study undertaken by Netcare Akeso confirmed the need for additional mental healthcare capacity, confirming prior engagement with various specialists and allied professionals who advocated for additional beds in the area, amid increased national demand for both outpatient and inpatient mental healthcare services.
“We also identified a need for local adolescent mental healthcare services, as young patients currently need to travel to Netcare Akeso George for inpatient treatment,” Hooyberg adds.
Netcare Akeso Gqeberha will comprise of 72 beds. Eight beds will be in a dedicated ward for adolescent patients, and the remaining 64 beds will accommodate adult patients. The facility will offer professional assistance for mental health conditions including anxiety, depression and bipolar mood disorders, among others, on both an inpatient and outpatient basis.
A multidisciplinary team of experts including psychiatrists, psychologists, occupational therapists and a social worker, supported by skilled and experienced nursing staff, will work from the facility which will include onsite consultation rooms, group therapy space, recreational areas, a gym, canteen and coffee shop.
“We look forward to the completion of the construction phase and thank local residents and businesses for their interest, understanding and patience so far. With the establishment of Netcare Akeso Gqeberha, we hope to improve awareness of mental health in the community and to provide professional assistance to individuals, families and corporate clients in the years and decades ahead,” Hooyberg concludes.
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