The Eastern Cape Health Department has embarked on a campaign to upgrade the iconic Victoria Hospital in Alice.

The three phase project will turn the 120 year old institution into a state of the art hospital. The first phase is focused on the fencing of the institution.

In the second phase, new accommodation for doctors and ablution facilities will be built. Health MEC Helen Sauls-August says that close to R21 million has been set aside for the second phase during this financial year.

“In terms of the project implementation, we have already introduced the contractor a couple of weeks back. So by the end of July they are supposed to be on site and ensure that all outstanding issues of the contract are concluded and they start with physical work on site during the month of August.”

Chairperson of the portfolio committee on Health in the Bhisho Legislature, Mxolisi Dimaza says the upgrading of the hospital is long overdue.

“As the portfolio committee this is one of the hospitals that we have been saying to the department that things need to be done, to be some kind of addition of buildings in the hospital as now the department has started to do that we are happy as the committee. You will remember that this hospital is the first one to train the nurse of colour in South Africa.”