Billions to be pumped into hospitals

2010-09-27 22:46

Durban - South Africa will spend billions to improve healthcare by renovating dilapidated hospitals, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said on Monday.

“We will put massive investment - it will be more than what the country spent during the soccer World Cup,” Motsoaledi told reporters at Inkosi Albert Luthuli Hospital in Durban.

Motsoaledi, doctors, engineers and Development Bank of SA (DBSA) representatives were attending a workshop aimed at preparing for the revamp of Durban’s King Edward VIII Hospital.

The hospital was one of five that would receive a massive, billion-rand facelift, Motsoaledi said.

The other hospitals were Nelson Mandela Academic Hospital in the Eastern Cape, Dr George Mukhari and Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospitals in Gauteng and the Limpopo Academic Hospital.

“The revitalisation is (part) of the ten point programme which is needed in preparation of the National Health Insurance (NHI).

"I am here to start that process.”

He said they had decided to involve all health stakeholders in the revitalisation programme.

“This has never been done before. We are discussing how it can be done and we will be forming task teams.”

Motsoaledi said the actual cost of revamping hospitals would be known after the teams had started their work.

Dr Massoud Shaker, provincial health department head of infrastructure, said the project manager for King Edward would be appointed before the end of the year.

DBSA divisional executive Lucy Chenge said her bank would be a partner and "possibly finance it".