A brand new Forensic Pathology Institute will open in Observatory in April to add significant and much-needed capacity to the Western Cape’s current pathology services.

Construction on the R287-million, three-storey facility, which is located at the entrance of Groote Schuur Hospital, commenced in April 2017 with an initial estimated completion date of March 2019. However, the lockdown resulted in various delays and shifted its completion to April 2021.

Western Cape Minister of Transport and Public Works Bonginkosi Madikizela visited the site on Monday [February 1] and is pleased with its progress thus far.

“11 000 decedents are presented for examination at the Western Cape Forensic Pathology Services facilities per annum and 70% of the cases are presented in the Cape Metro region. These numbers have increased significantly as a result of deaths due to the coronavirus,” said Madikizela in a statement.

Once completed, the level 4 forensic pathology facility will replace the existing Forensic Pathology facility in Salt River and will enable better integration of the work of provincial Forensic Pathology Services and the National Health Laboratory Service, coupled with resources to support the University of Cape Town’s academic training in the field.

The following core facilities will be incorporated:

– 26 autopsy tables – four dissection suites with six tables each, as well as teaching and training dissection suites.

– 360 refrigerated body spaces, 180 admission fridges, and 180 dispatch fridges.

– The building will be able to accommodate up to 100 visitors to the bereavement centre per day; up to 10 waiting undertakers; and up to 20 students at a time.

Picture/s: Western Cape Government

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