The second biggest military hospital in South Africa is to undergo a R600 million refurbishment and upgrade starting this year.
2 Military Hospital in Wynberg, Cape Town, has only had minor upgrades and ongoing maintenance work done since it was built in 1978. The hospital provides medical treatment to serving and retired defence force personnel and their dependents.
The People’s Post, a weekly community newspaper, quotes Thami Mchunu, director of media and stakeholder relations for the provincial Department of Public Works, as saying that the renovation is due because the hospital’s current structure cannot accommodate modern medical equipment.
“Only maintenance work was carried out since the hospital opened,” Mchunu said.
The tender for the upgrade was issued in May 2012 and the paper notes the project will cost R600 million and is expected to be completed in 2017.
The project will include construction of a new administration and logistics complex, seven new theatres and 10 wards. Rooms for doctors and the nurses’ home will also be upgraded.
“All these facilities will be built according to the latest medical specifications,” Mchunu is quoted as saying.
The hospital is responsible for providing medical services over a wide geographic area, including Western Cape, Eastern Cape and the Northern Cape. The hospital caters for 40 000 military personnel including their dependants.
The hospital currently runs a total of 50 departments and offers a variety of medical services. These include dentistry, family medicine and orthopaedic surgery.
The various hospitals and clinics administered by the South African Military Health Services (SAMHS) and maintained largely by the Department of Public Works have been placed under increased pressure due to personnel and funding shortages.
The number of people visiting the hospital is set to increase, when in March this year, the Department of Military Veterans embarked on a programme to issue healthcare cards to military veterans from the Non-Statutory Forces so that they can have easy and free access to the country’s military hospitals.