Fairview Hospital construction to start in September

2015-05-27 06:00

WITH an investment of R650-million, creating 320 new jobs, the first locally owned and designed large hospital in Port Elizabeth was officially launched at the Boardwalk Convention Centre recently.

The OriginHealth Fairview Hospital is expected to open its doors in the middle of 2017. Construction is expected to start later this year.

Its health planner, Dr Adrian Wentzel, said it was their hope that the institution, which promised a new take on healthcare, would attract young doctors to Port Elizabeth.

OriginHealth managing director, Dr Andries Marais, said the city was in need of a new hospital and he hoped the 160-bed facility would provide some competition in a city where the private healthcare sector had been dominated by the listed groups. “The situation is completely skewed in the Eastern Cape. The incredible growth of the western part of Port Elizabeth also demands another hospital,” Marais said.

“We have a number of niche medical fields in mind that are under-serviced in Port Elizabeth and we hope to become a centre of excellence for these,” Wentzel said.

Marais said, “We received an unprecedented response from doctors to attend the launch and our presentation on possible investment opportunities - even from doctors from out of town.”

While it will be the first new hospital in Port Elizabeth for OriginHealth, Marais has been involved in a number of hospital projects both locally and overseas. He was involved in the establishment of the Cuyler Clinic in Uitenhage in 1985 and currently manages the Eye andamp; Laser Institute in Port Elizabeth.

“This is the largest hospital project in which I have been involved in South Africa. We really do need another hospital.”

He said the 320 jobs that would be created included different skills levels such as cleaners, general workers, administrative jobs and highly specialised jobs like medical technicians, nursing jobs and positions for other medical professionals.

The infrastructure and bulk services for the new hospital have already been completed, as has the upgrade of Circular Drive to allow for ambulance access.

Marais said green building practices would be followed in the construction of the 56 000m² hospital, including the use of environmentally friendly building materials and rain harvesting.

The hospital will have six surgical theatres, medical wards, an intensive care unit, high care unit, maternity unit, neonatal unit, paediatric unit, and accident and emergency unit and a day hospital. “The hospital will accommodate most medical aids,” Marais said.

Wentzel said: “We are going to be doing things differently at Fairview Hospital.” He detailed their considerations in the design of the hospital, done by Studio D’Arc Eastern Cape architect, Craig Billson, which enhanced operational efficiency and emphasised patients’ privacy.

Billson described the new hospital as a “technologically advanced clinical building that demonstrates an inventiveness and delight … moulding a space and place for excellence in clinical care delivery. “It will ultimately serve as a proud, sustainable community resource for Port Elizabeth,” he said

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