Gauteng health dept repurposes AngloGold hospital as a Covid-19 facility

A hospital being renovated to specifically handle coronavirus cases is expected to be handed over to the Gauteng Department of Health at the end of June. 

AngloGold Ashanti Hospital in Carletonville is currently being refurbished and repurposed by the Department of Infrastructure Development after an agreement with the mining company.

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The hospital will have 175 intensive care unit (ICU) and high care beds to be used for Covid-19 patients.

Gauteng Premier David Makhura, as well as the MECs for Health and Infrastructure Development - Bandile Masuku and Tasneem Motara - visited the hospital for a walkabout on Wednesday. 

Speaking afterwards, Makhura said the hospital would cater for Covid-19 patients in need of ICU and high care.

He added that it would also serve communities in the area after the pandemic.

Makhura said Merafong municipality depended on one main health facility, Carletonville Hospital, and that the hospital belonging to the mine would be an addition.

"We have been discussing with them since March and this has now been finalised. This facility is being handed over to us, the provincial government. We are finalising the details - for now, it is 20 years. But we are repurposing it, for now, into a Covid-19 hospital for the West Rand. Beyond Covid-19, it will serve as the second hospital to service Merafong, which is the local municipality of the West Rand District," Makhura said. 

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The Department of Infrastructure Development is steering the project and will hand the facility over to the health department once renovations are complete. 

"Good investment" 

Motara said the hospital was donated to the province on a free lease, on condition that refurbishments would be done. 

She added the lease agreement with the mining company was currently for 20 years. By the end of the project, R500 million would have been invested by the provincial government. 

"That would include all the medical equipment and everything that goes with it. We are renovating and repurposing the entire hospital to make it fit for 175 ICU and high care beds, the canteen, mortuary, as well as the staff quarters. 

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"We haven't started the work at the staff quarters because currently it is housing the labourers working on the site. As soon as one of the sections is done, we will able to start there. We think it is a good investment - we would not have been able to put up this facility brand new at R500 million," Motara said. 

Masuku said there were also other places the department was looking at, which could be used as isolation and quarantine sites.

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