By William J.Mbangula Oshakati The first and only privately owned hospital in Ongwediva that is currently under construction for N$ 40 million will open its doors to the public in October. This was confirmed recently by Dr Tshali Iithete, the Director of Ongwediva Medipark, the owner of the hospital. “We are very happy with the progress made so far with regard to the construction of the first phase and also the huge interest shown by various medical professionals. There are quite a number of professionals who are interested in working with us”, said Iithete. Currently under construction as part of the first phase, which is due to start operating as from October, are the paediatric and maternity wards, female and male wards, two theatres, the casualty unit, X-ray department and a children’s ward. The next phase will include, among others, the expansion of the bedding capacity that is expected to reach a maximum of 120 as well as the consulting rooms. Following the interest shown in the Ongwediva Medipark, said Iithete, the hospital is currently busy with a major recruitment drive for nurses and doctors including specialists in various services to be offered at the hospital. It is envisaged that all professionals operating from Ongwediva Medipark will have shares in the venture as a way to ensure success for themselves and the institution. Other essential services at the hospital such as security, cleaning, catering and information technology will be outsourced. The site of the Ongwediva Medipark was officially handed over to the Chinese contractors last October who were tasked to finish the work within eleven months. So far, indications are that the construction work is progressing according to plan with the deadline set for the end of September. Ongwediva Medipark, which is the brainchild of Dr Iithete and businessman David Iimbili, is based on the concept of locating doctors, high quality care and allied services on a single site. In addition to the private hospital, New Era was told it will also accommodate specialist services such as a 24-hour emergency and evacuation unit, a primary health care unit, doctors’ consulting rooms, medical laboratory, physiotherapy services, X-ray facilities, optometric facilities, a pharmacy, paediatric, surgical and general medical care wards as well as administrative offices. The hospital will work in close co-operation with Erongo Medical Services, the holding company of the Welwitschia Medical Centre in Walvis Bay, a relationship that was initiated by the SADConsult multi-disciplinary consultancy, which was appointed to ensure the creation of a “smart partnership” between the two institutions.