PMB gets own eye hospital

2017-03-29 06:02
PHOTO: SuppliedA rendering of the ‘PMB i Hospital’ that is expected to open in October in Alan Paton Drive will provide a centre of excellence for eye health.

PHOTO: SuppliedA rendering of the ‘PMB i Hospital’ that is expected to open in October in Alan Paton Drive will provide a centre of excellence for eye health.

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PIETERMARITZBURG should have its own specialist eye hospital in October.

The opening of the Pietermaritzburg Eye Hospital, or “PMB i Hospital” as it will be known, follows hard on the heels of other recent and substantial new multi-million rand investments in the medical sector in Pietermaritzburg.

The eye day hospital will only be the second of its kind in the province, after a similar facility opened in Durban less than six months ago.

“When we first started working on the project to establish an eye hospital eight years ago, KwaZulu-Natal had never had such a facility,” ophthalmologist Dr Enslin Uys said in an interview.

He started the eye hospital with fellow founding members and fellow ophthalmologists Dr Ed Anderson and Dr Mark Harrison, while two other members and fellow ophthalmologists Dr Andre Burger and Dr Sanjay Lalloo, have since also joined the hospital’s ownership consortium.

Dr Uys said the five will have their practice rooms at the 2 000-square-metre hospital, and they will also, when required, continue to perform their medical duties at other hospitals in the city.

Dr Uys said they planned to make the hospital “a centre of excellence” in eye health care.

Each doctor will bring their own equipment to the hospital, and be able to share it between them.

This also places them in a position to acquire the best and latest “state-of-the-art” equipment for the facility, ultimately offering their patients eye care of the highest standard.

The hospital, in Alan Paton Avenue, close to Mediclinic and the YMCA, next to the Moth club- house, is under construction and is expected to open in October.

The two-storey building will have the doctors’ rooms and coffee shop situated on the ground floor.

The first floor will contain the reception, two operating theatres and a ward with 10 hospital beds.

Depending on the procedure being performed, Dr Uys said he expects that most patients at the day hospital will spend between two to four hours at the eye care facility, of which most of it will be in a hospital bed or comfortable recliner chair.

He said patients will benefit from better nursing care as the medical staff will specialise in eye care only. This will lead to better surgical outcome and ultimately benefit the patient.

Most of the hospital’s patients were likely to be referrals from optometrists, GPs and other medical doctors, he said.

Dr Uys said the reason why the hospital had taken so long to develop was that, after finding an appropriate piece of land, they had encountered numerous administrative and other challenges along the way.

This was also partly because as doctors, they had never undertaken this type of property development work before.

“While everyone was focusing on their individual practices, William Cholwill, a business management consultant from Hilton, played an instrumental role in keeping us all together, the ball rolling and focused on the bigger picture,” he said.

“For us this is really an amazing venture and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

“We hope, with this hospital, to be able to leave behind a legacy of much improved quality of eye care for all the people of Pietermaritzburg and surroundings.” said Dr Uys.

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