High-level medical care in Gauteng received a significant boost with the expansion and refurbishment of the Cormed Private Hospital in Vanderbijlpark by Giflo Medical, part of leading commercial and medical property developer the Giflo Group.
The existing hospital’s capacity was doubled in size as part of an expansive upgrade which included the addition of a new operating theatre complex with a laminar flow theatre, a fully equipped ophthalmology theatre as well as a general theatre. The new theatre complex has been operational since last November. At 4 400sqm Cormed Private Hospital now also boasts 62 beds in fully upgraded medical and surgical wards, an after-hours facility, intensive-care unit and high-care facilities.
Phase 1 of the initial redevelopment project was completed in October 2020 and the full upgrade of all facilities and equipment as well as the hospital expansion was implemented while the hospital remained fully operational, throughout the continuing Covid-19 pandemic. In spite of many challenges along the way, the official opening of the newly revamped Cormed Private Hospital will take place in June 2021
Says Ivan Makkink, director of Giflo Medical, “We are very proud to have played a role in fulfilling the vision to establish Cormed Private Hospital as a significant, state-of-the-art facility where patients from the Vanderbijlpark community and beyond can come for quality health care and after care.”
Here high technology meets the superlative patient care which has always been at the heart of the Cormed ethos. This reputation, built over 30 years by the dedicated and passionate multidisciplinary team of Cormed Private Hospital, has laid a foundation of medical excellence.
The world-class upgrade of the facilities is enabling the team to rise to the increased health-care needs of the people of the Vaal Triangle, be they patients, physicians or employees, who choose Cormed Private Hospital for unparalleled patient care.
To successfully execute the multi-million rand redevelopment of a fully-functioning hospital is an achievement to be proud of at the best of times. For developers, Ivan Makkink and Pieter Knoesen of Giflo Medical, the completion of Cormed Private Hospital in Vanderbijlpark – which marked its official launch on 2 June – holds special significance.
One reason is that this private acute facility underwent an extensive refurbishment as well as new construction during a health pandemic – which could be labelled a miracle.
The other reason is that two days after handover of the new theatre complex in Phase 1, Pieter was rushed back in to Cormed as a patient requiring an emergency operation.
“As lead architect on the project, I felt humbled to be back as a patient and to be judged by my own creation, so to speak,” he tells Asset. “It turned out to be a very meaningful experience. I realised what a positive impact the ‘new’ hospital was having on fellow patients as well as on the staff, and how they felt their worth had been recognised in the state-ofthe- art quality of the redeveloped hospital. I was so pleased, even while lying in a hospital bed, to have been part of a success story!”
“We’re very excited by what we’ve achieved at Cormed over the past two years,” Ivan says. “It is rated as one of Discovery Health’s top 20 private hospitals in South Africa. It has always had an outstanding reputation for service and medical care. Now, with a complete overhaul of the existing hospital and the addition of a new section, Cormed has been taken to a new level of medical facility excellence which will add even greater value to the healthcare it offers its patients.” Giflo Medical is a specialist division of the Giflo Group, a property development company focused on greenfield and joint venture projects. Directors Ivan and Pieter head up the division which was founded in 2016 to upgrade and develop medical facilities such as day hospitals, medical centres, clinics and purpose-created medical services spaces such as dialysis and ophthalmology centres, across South Africa. As the majority asset shareholder of Cormed, Giflo Medical acts as landlord to the client/tenant i.e. the team of doctors operating the hospital as an independent medical facility.
Discussions around a revamp and extension of the hospital, which was built 25 years ago, commenced in 2018. While it has always been valued by the market it serves, Cormed recognised the need to upgrade the building to contemporary design standards, make the common areas more welcoming and comfortable for both staff and patients, add additional ICU beds to meet market demand and modernise the operating theatres to align with 21st century technology. The refurbishment work was also required to accommodate the leading-edge Envision Centre for Sight which lies adjacent to the main hospital, and whose ophthalmologists operate at Cormed.
“Cormed as a hospital was an excellent hospital before the revamp. That’s not in question,” says Pieter. “The thinking was, ‘Let’s bring the look and feel of the infrastructure up to the same level of medical care and service which the clinicians and support staff offer.’ It was like taking a rough and very valuable diamond, and polishing it to expose even more of its brilliance. As Giflo Medical we were helping to build even greater success on existing success.”
An architectural grande dame steeped in history is getting a new lease of life in the Cape Winelands town of Paarl, where leading property developers Giflo Group have big plans to revitalise La Concorde, the one-time head office of KWV.
When it comes to property-development buzzwords, “mixed-use” is certainly one of the strongest. It is a characteristic of the era that we live in that people strive to simplify their daily routines, and having access to developments that offer office space, retail, medical and residential facilities in close proximity to each other, is often the dream. And it is this dream that Giflo Developments aim to facilitate, in a variety of locations, allowing a live-work-play lifestyle that ticks all the boxes.
This year, amid the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, the company celebrates 10 years in the business, having grown from a small concern focusing on office space, to a full-spectrum developer also experienced in residential, hotel, retail and medical developments countrywide.
During this anniversary year a lot of activity centres around the Centurion area, where the Irene Link precinct, in which Giflo is the major shareholder with partners Abland and SOM, is under development. The 75 000sqm precinct situated along the N1 highway between Johannesburg and Pretoria, includes the award-winning Barloworld head office, and a 12 000sqm retail and lifestyle centre that will open during 2021.
The company is also currently involved with two residential developments in Paarl in the Western Cape: Pearl Valley at Val de Vie and Paarl Valleij; as well as two in Gauteng: Little Falls in Roodepoort and The Woods in Kyalami.
“We don’t know what the world will look like post the pandemic, but there is likely to be reflection on how we live, and the lessons learnt during times when movement was restricted, and motor vehicle use was limited,” says Giflo founder and owner Michiel Scharrighuisen. “From that perspective we believe that people will increasingly choose living and working environments with lifestyle in mind, and that will certainly play a role in our decision-making as developers.”
The Scharrighuisen brothers, Michiel and Regardt, founded the company in 2010 and explain that the strength in partnerships is a core value of the company. “Identifying the right partners for any development project has always been a priority,” says Michiel. “We firmly believe in the wisdom that any chain is as strong as its weakest link, and at Giflo we aim to build chains of expertise, bringing the right people together for a project so that the end product benefits from the collaboration.”
Being awarded the Green Building Council South Africa’s five-star Green Star SA ratings in both the Design and As Built categories for the Barloworld head office was a definite highlight of the past year, and underlines the ethos of creating teams of the best industry professionals at the forefront of innovation. They are very proud of the rating, Michiel says, but what it confirms is even more important to the company. “It has shown that we have in our networks the skills required to create low-maintenance, highly functional, well-designed developments that conform to world-class green building standards. That is really exciting.”
The development and management of cutting-edge medical facilities is a further niche that Giflo specialises in. Regardt explains, “We formed Giflo Medical in 2016 when we realised that there were very few South African developers who operate in the world of medical development; which is highly specialised. And those who do have the skill tend to only operate in areas where they have a home base, whereas the Giflo Medical team operate across the whole of South Africa.” Another result of a strong partnership bringing divergent expertise together into a stronger whole, this division was formed with developer Ivan Makkink and architect Pieter Knoesen, and has developed acute as well as day hospitals, medical centres, clinics and similar purpose-created medical service spaces across South Africa. “We develop medical projects on a turnkey basis to deliver the final product at a fixed cost,” says Regardt.
Surviving and thriving to reach a tenth birthday in economically challenging times is a big reason for gratitude, and Giflo is deeply committed to its involvement with Community Keepers, a non-profit organisation based in Stellenbosch that looks after the welfare of learners from disadvantaged backgrounds. “The professional support services that Community Keepers provide at schools really make a difference in the communities they serve, and reaches beyond learners to parents, caregivers and educators too. We have seen them change lives since we first became involved in 2015, and it means a lot to be able to partner with an organisation that invests in the future of the country by investing in the youth,” says Michiel. Giflo are also proud sponsors of the first rugby teams of Paarl Gimnasium and Pretoria’s Afrikaans Hoër Seunskool (Affies).
Giflo has offices in Pretoria and in Paarl in the Western Cape. To find out more about the development pipeline and latest projects, visit www.giflogroup.co.za.