New pharmacy and clinic for Edendale

2012-06-08 00:00

EDENDALE Hospital will be provided with a new communicable diseases clinic and a pharmacy by the end of December next year.

This is part of the KZN Health Department’s hospital revitalisation programme, said MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo at the provincial legislature yesterday.

“At Edendale Hospital we have also opened tenders for the upgrade of the accident and emergency unit as well as the outpatients department,” he said.

Dhlomo was presenting his budget speech in which he said the department had been allocated R26,5 billion for the 2012/13 financial year.

He also said construction of the new Dr Pixley Ka-Isaka Seme Hospital in Durban was due to begin in October, and was expected to be completed in 2015.

“Once up and running, it will alleviate problems being experienced by Mahatma Gandhi Hospital, which is currently overburdened by the work load.”

Other hospitals such as the Lower Umfolozi District War Memorial, the Ngwelezane and the Rietvlei hospitals in Umzimkhulu will also be upgraded.

The money to revitalise and build hospitals was allocated under conditional grants, said department spokesperson Desmond Motha.

From this budget 668 students would get bursaries to pursue health-related studies.

For these bursaries R107 million is allocated.

Twelve medical students from poor backgrounds will be given bursaries to study in Cuba in September. in the same month, 400 students will be sent to Cuba on the South Africa/Cuba medical programme.

These students would receive a R1 660 monthly stipend from the department, and their food and accommodation will be taken care of, said Motha. He said their parents would pay for their tuition of about R112 000.

The Democratic Alliance’s MPL, Makhosazana Mdlalose, said that although training doctors in Cuba would increase numbers of doctors in the country, it proved costly.

“We [also] read about Cuban doctors coming to serve in South Africa and we appreciate this relationship. But we need our own doctors,” she said.

She also said that of the 55 000 doctors who had studied in South Africa, 45% had moved to other countries.

Dhlomo said in response that the Cuban programme was indeed expensive, but that medical schools in that country were of a high standard.

He also said the department could not stop doctors from leaving the country for better opportunities, but those who had trained in Cuba did not want to leave the country.

• lunga.biyela@witness.co.za

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