St Anne’s just got bigger

2014-05-23 00:00

NETCARE St Anne’s Hospital’s R125 million expansion in Pietermaritzburg is slightly ahead of schedule and should be complete next year, said hospital manager Louis Joubert.

He said in an interview the upgrade was necessary because the hospital wants to improve its existing services as there is a shortage of hospital beds in the city — a legacy of the influx of state workers when Pietermaritzburg became the provinicial capital in 2004 — and because medical insurance has become more affordable in recent years.

Additional specialised facilities such as new maternity, high care and dedicated cardiac units are planned, as well as improvements to the theatre complex, emergency department and oncology unit. So far, an extra 35 beds have already been added to the hospital, and the hospital plans to open the high-care unit by August this year.

Other improvements include increasing the capacity of the hospital pharmacy, kitchen and administration areas to cater for the expected increase in the number of patients, and more parking.

The emergency unit is the second busiest of its kind in the province after St Augustine’s in Durban.

Last year, as part of the upgrade, the hospital became the only private facility in KwaZulu-Natal to offer an endobronchial ultrasound scan (EBUS) bronchoscope.

The technology improves diagnosing and evaluation of cancer of the lungs and airways as well as other medical infections.

Joubert said one of the challenges has been to attract additional medical personnel for the upgrade. In that respect there was already a pool of good medical specialists in the city and in some instances, “it has not been too difficult to convince doctors to move to Pietermaritzburg from Gauteng”.

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