BULAWAYO City Council has approved the setting up of three private hospitals in a rare feat for the investment starved city.
Harare-based Corporate 24, Shandrila Investments and Veronicare Health had their plans to build health centres in different locations approved last month.
According to a council report, Corporate 24 is already renovating premises to house a hospital in the city centre.
Corporate 24 was founded by Mike Joka, a Harare-based medical doctor. The company already owns several health centres in Harare.
Shandrilla Investments got the nod to develop a 100-bed hospital in the high-desnsity suburb of Pumula South.
The hospital would be built near Premier High School along Intemba Road, council said.
Council revealed the hospital would be made up of a trauma centre, casualtydepartment, outpatients, X-ray andultrasound units, a pharmacy, maternity wing and laboratory.
“The piece of land applied for was set aside for the development of a hospital in terms of the layout covering the area and there would be no town planning objections for it to be allocated to the applicant as it would assist the community to gain easy access to a medical facility within their vicinity,” council said in recommending the project.
The third hospital would be built by Veronicare Health at corner Huggins Road in Luveve Suburb.
Veronicare said the construction of the 50 to 80-bed facility would start as soon as the council approves the project and would be operational with a year.
It would consist of accident and emergency, maternity, radiology and admissions departments.
“The hospital will cater for all residents especially the western suburbs surrounding this area. We will strive to provide fast, affordable and quality healthcare for all residents,” the investors said in the application to council.
“This project will help to ease pressure on existing hospitals especially government hospitals, (Mpilo Central and United Bulawayo Hospitals) and city council clinics.”
However, council said there were urban agriculture activities around the area and proposed to give the investor 2 000 square metres of land.
The council said more land would be made available to the investor when the project took off.
Bulawayo has a few private health institutions and construction of more private hospitals would likely help bring down the cost of healthcare.