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R120 million expansion of Midlands Medical Centre private hospital
By Sunil Bisnath | 2 May 2014 09:00

By the end of 2015, there will be 483 additional parking bays, refurbishment of a number of departments in the hospital and new facilities such as a cardiac unit and cardiology lab.

An artist's impression of the Ariel view of MMC on Williams Street and Langalibalele once complete

A R120 million new expansion programme has started at Midlands Medical Centre (MMC). When the expansion is complete by the end of 2015, there will be 483 additional parking bays, refurbishment of a number of departments in the hospital and new facilities such as a cardiac unit and cardiology lab.

“MMC will have the largest radiology department in PMB. We want to take MMC to a Quaternary Care Level where we are able to do procedures such as: neuronavigation neurosurgery, cardiac bypass surgery and heart valve replacement surgery,” said MMC Chairman Dr Ashraff Moosa.

An artist’s impression of the Williams Street precinct MMC- following the planned expansion of the hospital.

Grey’s Hospital currently sends their patients to Albert Luthuli Hospital in Durban for complex procedures.

“With the new facilities at MMC, they will be able to have most of those procedures done here at home in our hospital”, said Dr Moosa.

Patients who presently have to go to Albert Luthuli will save the trip to Durban and the present one-year waiting list. Even those without private doctors or specialists will be able to have the procedures done locally by state doctors using MMC’s facilities.

“There is a growing market for private healthcare. The expansion at MMC wills double the size of the hospital. The investment in technology will put us at the forefront of private hospital care in Pietermaritzburg,” said Moosa.

The expansion is expected to contribute significantly to much-needed employment in the city, adding an estimated 200 permanent jobs.

The project includes the purchase of adjacent properties in Williams Street and Langalibalele Street. The Cumberwood Post Office, Motor City, the Chetty family home and the MMC’s old block C doctors’ suits have had to be demolished for the new buildings.

Born out of a noble ideal centred on wider access to quality healthcare, the history of Midlands Medical Centre MMC dates back to 1984 when Dr Maneklal Lalloo and Dr Deenadayalu Padayachee called a meeting to discuss building a private hospital to cater for the needs of their patients.

The doctors were frustrated at the lack of private hospital facilities. Although non-white patients could see private practitioners in their rooms, most had to be treated by state-employed doctors in public hospitals.

Only one ward at Northdale Hospital was allocated for use by Indian and Coloured doctors for private Indian and Coloured patients. There were no facilities for black patients. Indian dentists were not allowed to do any conservative work but only extractions under general anaesthetic. Again, there were no facilities for blacks.

A steering committee was elected consisting of Dr Lalloo (chairman), Dr Suliman Goga (vice chairman), Dr Padayachee (secretary), the late Dr Dhanraj Maney and Dr Taddis Bhika. The steering committee formed a company, Mid-Medic Ltd, on 5 September 1984, with Dr Kenneth Daniels and Dr Manilall R Marrie as additional directors.

The new Midlands Medical Centre private hospital in East Street (now Masukwane Street) was completed on 15 February 1988 and opened with 56 beds and 35 staff.

Today it now has 225 beds and employs more than 400 permanent staff (cleaning and security are outsourced), making it one of the largest private hospitals in the KZN Midlands region.
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