Plans are afoot to deliver Limpopo’s first academic hospital that will see the province’s residents no longer having to travel to Gauteng to receive tertiary medical services.
Acting premier, Seaparo Sekoati, led the sod-turning ceremony of the Limpopo Central Academic Hospital on Webster Street in Polokwane this week.
“This is going to be a 488-bed hospital providing over 20 services. Those services, amongst others, include all disciplines of surgery, trauma, burns, oncology, gynaecology, neonatal care, paediatrics and emergency medicine.
“This state-of-the-art facility will be essential in ensuring that our citizens have access to quality healthcare services. We have been making pronouncements on this great project over the years. Today it is pleasing that the ground has been cleared and work is beginning in earnest,” said Sekoati.
Joining the ceremony was Health Minister Dr Joe Phaahla, provincial health MEC Phophi Ramathoba and Polokwane mayor John Mpe, amongst many distinguished guests. Sekoati thanked Phaahla for the technical support received from his ministry and also praised the Polokwane local municipality for making the 25 hectares of land available.
“Preliminary estimates show that the project is expected to generate 1 220 part-time jobs during the construction phase and create 2 461 full-time equivalent jobs in Polokwane and surrounding areas, once the hospital is fully operational.
“The sod-turning ceremony today is significant as it coincides with International Nelson Mandela Day. This day serves as a reminder of the values and principles that Madiba stood for – equality, justice, and compassion.
“Mandela believed that healthcare is a fundamental human right, and it is our duty to make it accessible to all. By constructing the Limpopo Central Academic Hospital, we are taking a significant step towards fulfilling this vision,” he said.
Sekoati told Ramathuba that her department has now been entrusted with delivering the project on time.
“I am confident that they will complete this project within the stipulated time frame and to the highest standards.
“I also want to acknowledge the tireless efforts of the department of health, led by our esteemed health MEC, Dr Phophi Ramathuba.
“Their dedication and hard work have been instrumental in making this project a reality. I have no doubt that under their leadership, the Limpopo Central Academic Hospital will serve as a beacon of hope for the people of Limpopo,” Sekoati said.
Minister Phaahla said he was glad to witness the development.
“The establishment of a specialist hospital in this province will bolster the health sciences education and training, creating more opportunities for future generations to pursue careers in health sciences.
“The university’s health sciences faculty, which houses the medical school, must start concrete plans to attract specialists and super-specialists to train doctors and other health professionals,” said Phaahla.
Premier Stan Mathabathaba, who is on compassionate leave after laying his wife Maggie to rest two weeks ago, handed over the construction site at the end of May.
During the handover, Mathabatha said the project would cost a whopping R4-billion funded by the national health department on behalf of the provincial health department.