Specialist facility for PMB

2013-06-20 00:00

WORK begins this month on a R125 million expansion of the Netcare St Anne’s hospital in Pietermaritzburg, to be completed by the end of next year.

Four years in the planning, the project includes a substantial upgrade of the old medical centre that faces Burger Street, while 53 beds will be added to the 205-bed hospital.

These are in response to the growing specialist needs of the facility, which boasts one of the “most diverse groups of specialists” in the city, said Louis Joubert, the hospital general manager.

Until the beginning of this year, the facility was the only specialist cardiac hospital in the city. It was also the first to install dedicated oncology beds for patients, he said.

“The demand for emergency services has increased in recent years, and the emergency department is being trebled in size to accommodate this,” said Joubert.

Response to demand has also driven expansion in other areas. The theatre complex is being modernised and expanded to incorporate the latest technology and equipment. The maternity unit is being entirely rebuilt and will have its own theatre for Caesarian section procedures. The development of a dedicated cardiac critical care unit and cardiac ward has been made a priority, and dedicated oncology beds are being added to keep immune-suppressed oncology patients in protected isolation.

The capacity of the hospital’s retail pharmacy, kitchen and administration areas is also being targeted to cater for the envisaged increase in patient numbers, and consulting suites for more medical practitioners are being incorporated.

An entirely new three-storey wing will be added in the old medical centre area, while the existing four-storey structure will be modernised.

The construction phase is expected to be completed by 2014. While Joubert apologised for any inconvenience caused during this time, he said that the disruptions would be minimised and visitors will be pleased with the improvements, which include additional parking bays and a redecorated coffee shop with a new menu.

“We are tremendously excited by this project, which represents a considerable investment in Pietermaritzburg and the surrounding greater Midlands areas,” said Joubert. “The expansion and upgrades will enable our hospital to grow apace with our fast developing city.”

Melanie Veness, CEO of the Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business, said the expansion of Netcare St Anne’s Hospital was timely and very welcome.

“It is gratifying to know that Netcare remains committed to investing in this community and ensuring that it delivers only the highest levels of care,” she said.

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