The Free State Premier Hon. Sisi Ntombela officially opened the state-of-the-art Bram Fischer International Airport Hospital in Bloemfontein. Accompanied by the MEC for health Hon. Butana Kompela, the Director General Mr Kopung Ralikontsane the Premier joined the Chairperson of the National Empowerment Fund (NEF) Chairperson Mr Rakesh Garach and Ms Hlengiwe Makhathini, Divisional Executive for Venture Capital and Corporate Finance as they embarked on an extensive walkabout of the facility led by Dr Diliza Mji, CEO and Chairprson of the Busamed Group as well as Dr Burton Shinners COO of the group.
During the tour of the hospital the Premier engaged the staff members encouraging them to work hard and endeavour to give a service reminiscent of Florence Nightingale “The Lady with the lamp”, universally recognised as the mother of the nursing profession. The delegation also stopped to meet the first baby born in the facility, little Emmanuel Simo Akachuku, born on the 23rd April 2018, who had been visiting the hospital for routine check up.
In her speech the Premier thanked Busamed, Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) and NEF for the establishment of the hospital and challenged them to find ways of working with the public sector facilities in the area to reduce the backlog of patients awaiting surgical procedures.
The new private hospital is located on the southern side of the airport, off the national N8 highway and offers a comprehensive range of primary, secondary and tertiary care as well as a 24-hour emergency service staffed by experienced specialists. The construction of the hospital cost over R400 million and took two years to build.
Mr Badisa Matshego, Airports Company South Africa group executive for infrastructure asset management, said: “We are delighted to have Busamed Healthcare Group as our first partner on the journey to Bram Fischer International Airport becoming an aerotropolis that is surrounded by services and amenities that provide increased access and customer service excellence to our passengers. This is a first for Bloemfontein, a first for an award-winning healthcare group in South Africa, a first for Airports Company South Africa and a first for our airport”.
In his remarks, Dr Diliza Mji said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Airports Company South Africa and the NEF as our long-term partners in supporting the economic growth and development around Bram Fischer International Airport with this state-of-the-art private hospital. The site of this hospital is strategic and will provide passengers, visitors and residents of the city with access to world class healthcare facilities and services that were not available to them before. Not only does the hospital support economic growth and job creation of the region, but it will significantly raise the standard of healthcare in the region.”
The Chairman of the NEF, Mr Rakesh Garach, said: “The NEF is proud to be associated with Busamed, a catalyst and a pathfinder in healthcare that has been identified as one of the priority sectors by the Industrial Policy Action Plan. As one of the world’s fastest growing sectors, healthcare contributes in excess of 10% to the gross domestic product in most developed nations. In South Africa, the private healthcare sector has also experienced phenomenal growth over the past decade, and the NEF believes that black entrepreneurs and professionals must be integral to this growth. The NEF’s net investment of R350 million in Busamed as an early mover some eight years ago to commercials 4 hospital licenses was informed by the need to support the rise of black industrialists in a keytargeted growth sector, one that cries out for meaningful transformation”.
“As the global economy has changed, so is the way companies are doing business. This is the first of its kind mixed-use realty project for Airports Company South Africa where the airport is an economic centre and hub which connects the lifeblood of the city to communities and opportunities. We believe this venture will spark economic growth in Bloemfontein,” Matshego added.
Located at the site of the Bram Fischer International Airport on the Mazelspoort Road, the new Busamed Hospital boasts a 24-hour a day, seven-daysa- week emergency centre with 110 beds, four theatres with radiology, maternity, ophthalmology, dermatology and urology facilities and a pharmacy. Specialities include general surgery, gynaecology and obstetrics, orthopaedics, paediatrics, neonatology, neurosurgery, ENT surgery. The hospital prides itself in offering the best clinical outcomes supported by integrated systems.
“We will be specialising in neurosurgery, trauma and orthopaedic surgery. We have a fully equipped resuscitation facility with 10 adult ICU beds, three neonatal ICU beds, maternity beds with two labour rooms and four theatres of which one is a laminar flow theatre for neuro and orthopaedic surgery patients,” Dr Burton Shinners, COO of Busamed said.
The precinct on which the hospital is built forms part of the N8 development corridor, which is listed as a strategic project within the National Development Plan. The project is part of Airports Company South Africa’s longterm infrastructure investment plan to develop its airports into aerotropolis cities which support the local and provincial economies surrounding its airports.
“Ladies and gentlemen, indeed Busamed ranks supremely as one of the stars in the NEF’s funded portfolio. We are grateful to the Government and the people of the Free State for giving this jewel a home. To the medical fraternity and to the people of South Africa and across our Continent, we say the doors are open. Come and be part of one of Africa’s finest medical institutions. Congratulations to Dr Mji, the partners and staff of Busamed,” said Mr Garach. The Busamed Bram Fischer International Airport Hospital is one of more than 900 blackowned businesses for which the NEF has approved over R9.3 billion worth of funding. Together these businesses have supported in excess of 98 500 jobs. In support of Government’s policy of developing black industrialists, the NEF and its partners, which include Busamed, have established 27 strategic and industrial projects that are valued at R27 billion, with potential to create 85 000 new jobs.