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Motsoaledi: Cosatu supports dipping in PIC for upgrades of state hospitals

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi says a proposal was made two years ago to use money from the Public Investment Corporation (PIC).

The King Edward Hospital in Durban was badly affected by the storm in Kwazulu-Natal. Picture: Ziyanda Ngcobo/EWN.

DURBAN - Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has told Eyewitness News that Cosatu supports plans to ask Treasury to take from the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) to upgrade public hospitals.

Motsoaledi was speaking on the sidelines of his visit to King Edward Hospital in Durban where he's been assessing the damage caused by Tuesday's deadly storms.

Eleven people were killed in the heavy downpours that swept through the province.

The minister says there have been longstanding plans to build new academic hospitals since 2009 but severing funding has been problematic.

He says a proposal was made two years ago to use money from the PIC.

“We have been discussing with Treasury that because of the economic situation, perhaps we could utilise money from the PIC.”

Motsoaledi says despite Cosatu's recent call for PIC money to remain untouched, the federation's president has reassured him of their support.

“I was asking whether their anger about what is happening at state-owned enterprises affect academics hospitals and he said no, by no means, they would really support that.”

The Health Minister has been visiting patients who were hurt when infrastructure collapsed at various hospitals in KwaZulu-Natal.

Patients in at least five Durban hospitals had to be moved to different wards due to flooding or roofs blowing off.

Motsoaledi has criticised the state of King Edward Hospital in Durban, describing it as old and needing extensive work.

Puddles of water in the corridors were still being mopped up while a female surgical ward had been evacuated and a theatre room was without electricity.

Motsoaledi says the effects of the storm can be felt more at the hospital because the building is deteriorating.

“The Inkosi Albert Luthuli Hospital is a few kilometres from here but it was not affected because it’s brand new. This one is badly affected, which simply means it’s very old, that’s all.”

The Health Minister will also visit Prince Mshiyeni Hospital where a mother and daughter were instantly killed when a wall collapsed.

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