Water shortage affects hospital health care

2017-03-16 06:02
Water shortages at Murchison Hospital are affecting service delivery. Photo: Artek 4

Water shortages at Murchison Hospital are affecting service delivery. Photo: Artek 4

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MURCHISON Hospital’s services and patient care has been compromised following a water interruption in the area.

The hospital’s systems manager Raj Ramharakh confirmed this after a family member of a patient wrote to the Fever expressing her concerns about the situation.

Services such as laundry, kitchen and theatre were affected as the institution operates on the use of steam, hence patient care has been compromised.

A woman visiting her father, who has stage four cancer, on Sunday said she was shocked to discover that the hospital had experienced no water for five days.

“My dad was in surgical ward G. The patients in the ward told me they hadn’t had a bath in three days. The hospital hasn’t had water in five days. They have also run out of drinking water,” said the woman.

Ugu District Municipality spokesperson, France Zama said the cause of the water interruption was due to the shutdown of the Bhobhoyi Treatment Works.

“Following the shutdown of the Bhobhoyi Treatment Works, some of our systems have not fully recovered and we have ensured prioritisation of hospitals and schools, among other public centres, in providing water relief via water tankers,” said Zama.

“The hospital has direct communication with the municipality where it can and has been requesting water relief when the supply is either cut off or running low.

We have ensured through the officer responsible for the Murchison Hospital that we swiftly respond to requests from this health facility as water forms part of their everyday duties,” he added.

Ramharakh, however, said this is an ongoing issue.

The hospital managed to obtain three Jojo tanks from the municipality in the past year, which are placed in strategic areas of the hospital. The municipality is expected to fill these tanks every week.

“Certain resolutions were agreed on at a meeting with Ugu late last year, however, these resolutions and promises were not kept by the Ugu team.”

A follow-up meeting has been requested as the situation has now worsened and is “definitely a concern”.

Hospital management has been proactive in installing a 20 000-litre elevated tank that will assist in times of water interruptions. They also plan to drill bore holes on the site.

The other attempt which will be done in a phased-in approach is the installation of a 72- hour storage tank with booster pumps.

“This will eventually resolve our current water problems,” said Ramharakh.

He said the hospital is, on a daily basis, in contact with the Ugu call centre reporting on the supply of water and records are documented and filed accordingly.

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