New hospital still closed

2016-11-16 06:00
The new Albert Nzula Hospital in Trompsburg remains closed.  Photo: Supplied

The new Albert Nzula Hospital in Trompsburg remains closed. Photo: Supplied

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Infrastructure drawbacks and hiring of staff at the state-of-the-art Albert Nzula Hospital in Trompsburg are some of the reasons cited for why the multi-million rand health facility remains unused.

Two years after its completion at the cost of a whopping R378 million, this hospital remains closed indefinitely.

Mlungisi Magabela, spokesperson for the Department of Public Works, said the hospital was handed over to the Department of Health in 2014 after its completion by the contractor.

The delay in opening the hospital is very much to the dismay of desperate job-seeking people who view the promise of getting employment as a pie in the sky.

Numerous unemployed locals in the Kopanong Local Municipality have express their feeling of hopelessness and dissatisfaction with continued delays by the Free State Department of Health to open the institution, following several postponements.

When questioned on Wednesday (09/11) about the delay in opening the hospital, Mondli Mvambi, spokesperson of the department, said the finalisation of the recruitment process has been the main issue causing the delay and the determination of the official opening date.

The department has now stated that the hospital will start operating in February 2017.

According to the department, the 165 vacancies advertised on 15 June and 29 July include the chief executive officer, head of administration, head of nursing, head of clinical services, nursing staff, medical officers, clerical services, security and cleaners.

Mvambi said the department has already shortlisted candidates for these posts and will finalise the shortlisting of health posts by today (16/11).

“It is highly anticipated that the finalisation of employment of the abovementioned categories will be completed to be effected by around January 2017,” said Mvambi.

He explained that infrastructure glitches between the output of the hospital sewer infrastructure system and that of the Kopanong Municipality have been dealt with.

“The necessary upgrades have been rectified to ensure both systems are in sync. The hospital equipment is already procured. The hospital has been fully furnished,” Mvambi said.

However, although the hospital is still closed, emergency medical services have been moved to the hospital premises since May 2016 to respond to the health and trauma needs of the Xhariep District.

  • The department said referrals of the most serious cases have been sent to Bloemfontein, whilst minor cases have been referred to the Diamond Regional Hospital in Jagersfontein. This newly-built hospital in Trompsburg is named after Albert Nzula, who was born in 1905 in Rouxville and obtained a teaching qualification at Bensonvale in Herschel and at Lovedale, where he qualified as a teacher.

He served as secretary of the Industrial and Commercial Workers’ Union (ICU) and also worked with the Communist Party of South Africa (CPSA), which he joined in August 1928. Nzula died in exile in Moscow on 17 January 1934 of pneumonia.

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