With upgrade and refurbishment work completed on two of the SA National Defence Force’s (SANDF) major medical assets, work at the third – 2 Military Hospital in Wynberg, Cape Town – is well underway.
SA Military Health Services (SAMHS) spokesman Colonel Louis Kirstein said refurbishment work started in July and is due for completion in 2017. The work is being managed by the Department of Public Works Cape Town regional office. Spokesman Thami Mchunu said earlier this year the upgrade would cost R600 million.
“A new administrative and logistic complex will be built adjacent to the main hospital. This building will have secure undercover and roof parking facilitating easy access to the hospital,” he said.
The secure parking, together with improved access control, will improve security at the hospital which has seen a number of incidents this year. One of these saw an armed man gain entry to the hospital.
“Work on the fifth floor is underway and will progress floor by floor until completion. To save on outsourcing costs while upgrading is underway, it is planned to install a vascular suite for cardiac angiography as well as vascular imaging. This facility is not a specialised thorax/heart surgery theatre but will be used to detect and treat coronary and artery diseases.”
This is the first time major upgrades are being undertaken at the hospital, built in 1979, and every effort is being made to maintain service levels while construction and installation of medical equipment is underway, the SANDF said.
“Clinical service delivery will not be interrupted as wards, clinics and services will be moved to appropriate areas while awaiting finalisation of their respective spaces,” Kirstein said adding hospital management are “doing their utmost” to limit inconvenience to patients and minimise the impact of the building project on service.
The Wynberg facility services about 40 000 military personnel, dependents and other approved patients, including veterans with healthcare cards. Its referral area covers the Western, Eastern and Northern Cape.
With work complete on what has been called “an almost total rebuild” of 3 Military Hospital in Bloemfontein and upgrading work at 1 Military Hospital in Thaba Tshwane reaching finality, SAMHS is confident it will be able to keep pace with demands for its clinical and other medical services, including drug and medicine dispensing, for the foreseeable future.
In terms of dispensing services, improvements to sickbays at bases across the country are now allowing patients to fill scripts for prescribed medication without unnecessary delays.