When exactly will KZN’s Dr Pixley Ka Isaka Seme Memorial Hospital open? The answers keep changing



02-03-2021
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Durban - QUESTIONS are still being raised about the Dr Pixley Ka Isaka Seme Memorial Hospital in KwaMashu but all the answers are not in sync.

In January 2018, then health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo said the hospital would be opened soon, however, more than two years later the hospital is yet to open.

Last month, Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane said the hospital was on course to open at the end of this month (March).

But Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize said the opening would depend on the completion of construction and Premier Sihle Zikalala said it would open no later than June this year.

In his State of the Province Address on Friday, Zikalala said the province was on course to deliver on one of its flagship projects, the Dr Pixley Ka Isaka Seme Memorial Hospital. The 500-bed hospital would provide regional services to the Inanda, Ntuzuma and KwaMashu communities.

“The hospital is at 98% practical completion rate and should be operational no later than June 2021,” said Zikalala.

“The commissioning of the building, equipment and human resources is in progress and anticipated to be completed in April 2021. The organisational structure of the hospital has a total number of 1 513 posts, with eight senior management posts have already been filled.”

Zikalala added that in the readiness to implement the National Health Insurance (NHI), the provincial government decided that every district KZ must have a regional hospital.

The long-awaited opening of the Dr Pixley Ka Isaka ka Seme Memorial Hospital in Kwamashu, north of Durban, is a step closer. | Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng/African News Agency (ANA) Meanwhile, early last month Duduzile Hlengwa, member of the parliamentary health portfolio committee, had asked Mkhize about the full relevant details regarding the failure to open this hospital, which is said to be equipped with advanced medical equipment, and by which date it was envisaged that the general public can expect the failure to be rectified.

In his response, Mkhize said the delays in the opening were caused by delays in the completion of infrastructure construction by the service provider.

“The delays were caused by variations implemented in line with the Mental Health Care Act; some of the staff who were part of the main contractor and those of sub-contractors getting infected with Covid-19 and then it was the festive season holidays,” said Mkhize.

He said the envisaged the opening date for the hospital would be determined by the completion of construction which was now at 99%. However, that would be followed by processes towards commissioning and the handover.

Simelane had said the recruitment of 1 400 employees from more than 200 000 applications was being finalised.

The update on the hospital came after unions pressured Simelane to fast-track the opening of the hospital.

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