South African President Cyril Ramaphosa is to open the Dr Pixley Ka-Isaka Seme Memorial Hospital in KwaMashu, KwaZulu-Natal Province, on 24 November.

The 500-bed facility will offer paediatrics, obstetrics and gynaecology, general surgery, orthopaedic surgery, psychiatry, mental health, anaesthetics and radiology among other services.

The hospital will also house a burns unit, high care and intensive care units, and trauma and emergency services.

It is named after Dr Pixley Ka-Isaka Seme, one of the founders of the African National Congress (ANC).

According to a government statement released in 2020, the hospital will hire 1,513 staff to treat patients referred by lower-level healthcare facilities in the region.

It is expected to serve more than 1.5 million patients from Inanda, Ntuzuma, KwaMashu, Phoenix and their surrounding areas, alleviating the burden on neighbouring healthcare facilities.

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KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu said the hospital was part of a ‘radical’ process to upgrade rural district hospitals across the province, enabling them to offer more specialised services.

The hospital’s construction is part of a R2.3bn ($122.44m) project begun in 2003 to address population growth in KwaZulu-Natal.

Delays due to the Covid-19 pandemic pushed the completion beyond the initial target of 2020.

The four-level facility will incorporate elements such as energy-saving lighting, environmentally friendly construction and rainwater harvesting into its design.

In keeping with an ANC policy conference resolution, all of its auxiliary services such as cleaning, security and catering will be in-sourced.

In May this year, the KwaZulu-Natal Children’s Hospital opened two of its four revamped facilities, namely the Victor Daitz psychology centre and the centre for adolescent health.

The renovations were carried out by the KwaZulu-Natal Children Trust in collaboration with the Department of Health and various donors in a private-public partnership.

They increased the amount of completed renovations at the hospital precinct to 65%.