R1.9 billion will be spent renovating hospitals and clinics in the Eastern Cape, the provincial health department said.
"For the first time in eight years the department of health will not be returning money to National Treasury which gets allocated in the guise of the infrastructure grant," spokesman Sizwe Kupelo said.
"The hospitals will provide a conducive working environment for our nurses and doctors to do their jobs efficiently and to provide quality health care to our patients."
He said the renovations would also provide jobs for people and stimulate the local economy.
Hospitals that would be revitalised were:
- Cecilia Makiwanne (R900 million)
- Livingstone Hospital's Oncology Unit and outpatients department (R55 million)
- Frere Hospital's Oncology Unit (R160 million)
- St Elizabeth Hospital - was to be constructed from scratch. R60 million would be spent on specialised civil works and preparing for the new hospital.
- St Patricks Hospital - new outpatients department and casualty unit (R370 million)
- Jose Pearson TB Hospital new XDR [extremely-drug resistant tuberculosis] Unit (R11 million)
- Frontier Hospital new casualty unit, outpatients department and two new wards and mortuary (R18 million)
- Nkqubela TB Hospital upgrade of two wards in the MDR [multidrug-resistant] Unit (R7.5 million)
Kupelo said that during construction a minimum of 1300 job opportunities would be available, 48 graduate internships and 30 apprenticeship workplace experience positions.
Labour recruitment would be done through the centralised recruitment office in partnership with the labour department in Mdantsane.
"This is very integral in the upliftment of the lives of our people," he said. (Sapa, April 2011)
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