Operations cancelled at Baragwanath

2014-01-31 19:11
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Johannesburg - Operations were cancelled at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, Soweto, on Friday because of a power failure, the DA said.

"It appears that generators are working, but surgeons and anaesthetists refuse to do elective surgery as they don't want to risk generators failing again after they failed twice last week," DA Gauteng health spokesperson Jack Bloom said in a statement.

"It is outrageous that this hospital has an unreliable power supply. Staff and patients are traumatised by the repeated power failures, and waiting lists for surgery grow longer."

Bloom said people were losing trust in the hospital management's ability to handle the power outage as it was the second electricity cut in two weeks. He said special measures should be taken to ensure the hospital was supplied with electricity at all times.

Gauteng health spokesperson Simon Zwane referred all enquiries to the provincial infrastructure development department because the power outage had been caused by cable theft.

"We are aware of the situation and the department of infrastructure development is currently attending to the technical problems experienced," Zwane said in an e-mailed response to Sapa.

"The department is concerned and engagements have been held with the electricity supply authorities to address the situation of cable thefts."

The infrastructure development department could not immediately be reached for comment.

The electricity supply to the hospital was cut on 21 January between 02:00 and 10:00, when power cables were stolen.

The outage caused the postponement of some operations. Two of the hospital's 12 generators experienced problems on the day, which affected the functioning of theatres.

The power was restored the same day.

At the time, Zwane said the department was putting in place additional measures, such as a plan to deal with operations during power outages.

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