Newcastle’s new private hospital’s architect opens up on what we can expect

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

The investment of R1.1 billion into Newcastle’s medical sector, with the establishment of a brand-new private hospital, is generating a ton of hype throughout the KwaZulu-Natal town. 

With several Newcastillians eager to know who is responsible for the upcoming medical facility and what it has to offer, we chat with Pretoria-based architect spearheading the project, Viresh Mahabeer of Exemplar Architects.

Beginning, Mahabeer explained that the project is the brainchild of Dr Rajendrakumar Singh, who via market analysis identified the need for another private hospital in Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal. 

Currently, Dr Singh owns Practices in Durban & Pietermaritzburg known as Midlands Laser Clinic—choosing the site in Rooibok Avenue in 2016, prior to the knowledge of the Medical Precinct, due to the benefits of the Hutten Heights area.

Additionally, Mahabeer enthused that market investigations in Newcastle’s Medical Sector indicated that the Hospital and Medical Centre will complement the current offering, while the Nursing College will elevate the national Medical Sector due to the shortage of nurses around the country.

“The establishment of a Nursing College would be the Hospital’s social obligation of ‘giving back’ to the community” he explained.

According to Mahabeer, the project site is approximately 30 000sqm, with the buildings occupying about 25 000sqm. “The development will be in three phases. Phase 1 (the hospital) will comprise 150 beds. Phase 2 (the medical centre) will comprise 25 medical suites and phase 3 (the nursing college and residence) will accommodate approximately 205 Nurses.”

Also, Mahabeer highlighted that the hospital would be providing approximately 450 full-time jobs and 100 outsourced jobs. “The nursing college will provide approximately 40 full-time jobs,” further adding that the doctors will be a mixture of out-of-town doctors and locals.

While the project is still in the pipeline, waiting for the necessary authorisation, Mahabeer exclaimed that the approval of this development will have a long-term positive impact on Newcastle’s economy with additional benefits such as:

  • Securing Newcastle as the Medical Hub for the Northern KZN Region as well as the surrounding Provinces of Mpumalanga and the Free State.
  • Job creation for several people. 
  • Enhancing Newcastle’s medical fraternity, and opening up the sector to more development. 
  • Increase Municipal Income and provide Newcastle with positive National exposure, making it more attractive for future investment.

“There is no doubt that the residents will benefit the most from the development which is in line with the Newcastle Municipality’s Vision 2035 of working towards a Metropolitan Municipality, a resilient and economically vibrant city, promoting service excellence to its citizens,” stated Mahabeer.

He further said that this means improved accessibility to State-of-the-Art medical facilities, eliminating the need to leave Newcastle in search of specialised medical assistance.

It will also alleviate the shortage of medical facilities in the region; and a functional Biophilic Development with an environment designed around an open space network, sufficient parking for staff and visitors, and landscaping to create a therapeutic environment leading to physical, psychological and social benefits for patients.

In line with the above, Mahabeer added that the development also intended to follow Green Building principles to include:

  • Renewable Material Use.
  • Solar Panels.
  • Energy Efficient Insulation.
  • Natural Day Lighting.
  • Heat Recovery Ventilators.
  • Automated Controlling and Monitoring Systems.
With the massive investment in the pipeline, Mahabeer said there were a number of individuals who played an integral role in seeing the project take off.

“Key project role players include Dr Singh, Mr Hopkins, Ms Rennie Koch, and myself, as the architect, who presented the development to the Exco. Many other professionals were involved in the rezoning application, which include the Town Planner and Engineers of various disciplines. Calvin Swemmer of the Newcastillian – Online News was extremely helpful and put us in touch with key persons at the Municipality,” concluded Mahabeer.

With the new private hospital set to enhance Newcastle’s medical and economic sectors, what are your thoughts on the above-mentioned? 

Share your views in the comment section below.

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