Leaking sewage stops surgeries at Edendale

2014-03-27 00:00

ELEVEN days after a sewage pipe burst at the Edendale Hospital, the operating theatre has now been closed as sewage started seeping in.

No surgery is taking place at the hospital — the district’s biggest hospital — and management has allegedly advised staff members to transfer the overflow of patients to Grey’s or Northdale hospitals respectively.

Patients and nurses had complained to The Witness in a story that was carried last Friday about the stench caused by the sewage leaks at the medical out-patients department but nothing had been done to close the ward.

However, yesterday a doctor who did not want to be named said the situation was now worse.

“They are re-routing everyone to either Grey’s or Northdale hospitals because the theatre was also flooded by the sewage on the second floor so we were forced to close it down,” she said.

She said this meant that no operations are taking place there.

“Even though the medical out-patient department was finally closed, doctors and nurses have to still go through the stench in that ward to get to paediatrics because there is no other way to the children’s ward except by that route,” she said.

She said they did not know whether anything was being done to sort out the situation.

Another doctor who also spoke on condition of anonymity said they thought the department would react and do something to address the problem when the previous story appeared in The Witness.

“But instead the challenges we and patients face have mounted,” he said.

He said it was filthy and unhygienic to work under such conditions and patients were facing a health risk.

A nurse also complained that patients were asking them for answers on when the situation would be fixed but they were unable to answer because management had not given them any information.

“This is despite our attempt to down tools last week demanding management resolve this matter urgently,” she said.

Numerous attempts by The Witness to get a comment in the sewage leak at Edendale Hospital were unsuccessful yesterday.

When The Witness contacted MEC for Health, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo, he referred all queries to Edendale Hospital CEO Zanele Ndwandwe, but she did not respond, and a message left with her personal assistant remained unanswered.

Health Department spokesperson Sebe Zwane said she would only comment once she had completed an investigation into the matter.

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