The reopening of the historic Hillbrow hospital after being shuttered for two decades would alleviate "strain on the nearby Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital".
That is according to the DA’s Jack Bloom‚ who said on Thursday that he welcomed Gauteng health MEC Qedani Mahlangu’s revelation that "plans are under way for the refurbishment of the old Hillbrow hospital to be reopened as a 300-bed district hospital in 2019".
Mahlangu told the Gauteng provincial legislature that a "conditional assessment has been done and the report indicates that the buildings are sound and habitable for health use" and a "Heritage Council report is anticipated to be approved by the end of November".
"The department will only be able to finalise costing once the Heritage Council has completed its work‚" she said.
Bloom said: "I welcome the proposed re-opening of this historic hospital, which was closed in 1997. This unwise move put strain on the nearby Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital as many patients went there instead.
"It will benefit a large inner city population and relieve pressure on the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital, which is supposed to be for specialist treatment only."
The proposed timeline for the reopening is:
• Planning — February 2017;
• Tender advert and award — May 2017;
• Site establishment and construction — August 2017 to June 2019; and
• Commissioning and handover — July 2019 to November 2019.