DA calls for full investigation into KZN hospital fire

2017-05-22 19:39
DA parliamentary office. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

DA parliamentary office. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Durban - The Democratic Alliance has called on the KwaZulu-Natal Health department to conduct a full investigation into the fire that broke out at Port Shepstone Regional Hospital on Monday morning.

The fire resulted in three people being badly burned and as many as 200 patients having to be transferred to other hospitals in the area, according to a DA statement.

"The DA extends its sympathies to all those who were affected by the fire today. In particular, we wish those who were injured a speedy recovery," said Dr Imraan Keeka, DA KZN spokesperson on Health.

It was very important that KwaZulu Natal's department of health got to the reason for the fire as soon as possible. The DA would interact with KZN Health MEC, Sibongiseni Dhlomo and his head of department to better understand what had happened, said Keeka.

"Particularly important are the department's contingency plans for the care of patients, some of whom are critically ill ICU patients on life support. The same urgency applies to urgent theatre cases," Keeka said.

No casualties

He claimed the hospital was ageing and "It is hoped that this did not contribute to the cause of the fire.

"Port Shepstone Hospital is also the recipient of a large infrastructure spend to upgrade portions of the facility. Clearly, more funding will be required now," Keeka added.

The department's communications officer Agiza Hlongwane said the fire broke out at a new block of the hospital which houses several wards including the paediatric, critical care and the intensive care units.

He denied that there were casualties as a result of the fire or smoke.

"The fire has been contained. There have been no casualties as a result of the fire or smoke. Patients have been evacuated and stabilised, and are continuing to receive attention," Hlongwane said.

He said patients from high care and intensive care units were transferred to hospitals in Durban by helicopter and a fixed wing aircraft.

"The department is doing its utmost to ensure that the provision of healthcare services for patients who need critical care continues," Hlongwane added.

Read more on:    da  |  durban  |  healthcare  |  fires

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