THE government has identified a new investor for Ekusileni Hospital and is planning to open the health care facility before the end of the year, a senior official has disclosed.
Situated in Woodlands suburb, Ekusileni Hospital is the brainchild of the late former Vice President Joshua Nkomo and has been lying idle since 2004.
The hospital has had several false starts, the latest being in January 2019 where it was anticipated that it would open following engagements with an Indian investor identified by the government, Shadar Group of Hospitals.
Despite missing the January 2019 deadline, the government had insisted that the hospital opening was on course.
Health and Child Care minister Obadiah Moyo, however, said the Indian investors changed their minds, prompting the government to go back to the drawing board.
Moyo said the government failed to reach an understanding with Shadar Group of Hospitals.
“We went all the way to India where we had identified some investors, but eventually they changed their mind. It was just a legal issue, so we had to get them out of the way and bring in new investors. So, the new investors are there and they appear to be solid. What we are looking for is funding,” Moyo said.
“We have gone out again… and we got potential investors that will be coming through to view the facility.”
He could not be drawn into disclosing when the new investors would visit the hospital.
Moyo said the government would also release funds towards the resuscitation of the hospital.
“We want to make sure that the hospital is up and running before year end. In the meantime, we also have some contingency plans where government will also put in money towards ensuring the hospital is resuscitated,” he added.
In the economic blueprint, the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP), the finance ministry indicated that the hospital would be opened in two phases in 2019 and 2020.
The hospital would provide secondary and tertiary care, covering preventive, diagnostic, as well as curative services, critical to ensuring improved access to health services for the people in Bulawayo and surrounding environs.
The ministry had indicated that the operationalisation of Ekusileni Hospital would be undertaken in two phases under a joint venture arrangement between the National Social Security Authority (Nssa) and an identified private investor which would contribute medical equipment, and carry out renovations to the health facility, as well as provide medical services, and linkages with local medical personnel.
The first phase was supposed to begin in January 2019 which was meant to target opening of the accident and emergency, outpatients and casualty units, among others.
The second phase was supposed to begin in January this year, targeting opening of operating theatres, high dependency unit, intensive care units and dialysis, among others.