Going against the grain of much long-running and still unfinished work at the national defence force’s flagship medical facility is the upgrade of the high care ward at 1 Military Hospital.
It took the Defence Works Formation (DWF) just five weeks to ensure the 78 intensive care bed ward on the seventh floor of the hospital on the northern side of Thaba Tshwane is fully operational again. This, after assistance (not stated, but believed to be with funding in some way) was provided by the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA).
“In addition to ICU-related critical medical cases, the ward will be utilised for management and treatment of COVID-19 cases requiring high care hospitalisation,” a SAMHS (SA Military Health Service) statement said.
The completion of the ward does not mean DWF’s work at the largest of SAMHS’ three military hospitals is finished.
The next phase of work at 1 Mil will see two more (operating) theatres added as well as refurbishing the casualty ward and main pharmacy “as priorities”. When this is finished DWF is expected to commence refurbishing all other wards in the multi-storey healthcare facility.
The revamped intensive care ward was officially taken into service by Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula on 19 October. She dedicated the ward to people who died of COVID-19. DBSA was thanked by the Minister and senior defence cadres including CSANDF General Solly Shoke and Defence Secretary Sonto Kudjoe for partnering with the military on this upgrade project.