Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Hospital power outage may last 6 weeks

Hospital power outage may last 6 weeks


Rob Ferreira Hospital in Mbombela, Mpumalanga, may be without electricity for another four to six weeks after a transformer room caught fire last week.

A diesel generator is currently being used to supply some power to the hospital, said provincial health and social development spokesperson Mpho Gabashane on Monday.

"We are currently running the hospital with a diesel generator which is a challenge, because the diesel might run out in the middle of the night, causing havoc for the 250 patients who are still in the hospital," said Gabashane.

He said food was now being prepared at the local prison for the remaining patients.

Critically and terminally ill patients or those who need around the clock care have been transferred to the private Nelspruit Medi-Clinic or the Themba State Hospital outside White River.

"The most fortunate part about the whole situation is that no casualties were reported because of this challenge.

"I would like to extend our gratitude to Themba Hospital and the private Nelspruit Medi-Clinic for helping us with critically ill patients, pregnant women and babies who need to be in incubators," he added.

Anyone else who needs medical care has been asked to go to the Barberton or Themba hospitals until electricity is restored at Rob Ferreira.

Bodies in the mortuary have also been transferred to a private mortuary to avoid decomposition.

Meanwhile, technicians and forensic investigators are currently investigating the cause of the explosion.

Chief Whip of the Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Mpumalanga legislature, Velly Manzini, commended the department for putting the patients first, but said it was unacceptable for the province's biggest hospital to be without electricity for up to six weeks.

"The DA calls on Premier David Mabuza to intervene and to pull out all stops to ensure that the electricity is restored at Rob Ferreira hospital before any fatalities occur.

"It is really unacceptable that patients must wait six weeks for power to be restored. It really does not make any sense," said Manzini.

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