By Kaya 959 News
A power failure that affected the water supply in parts of Gauteng left some hospitals scrambling for most of Monday.
The power failure on Sunday saw a number of reservoirs running low, impacting the water supply to Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital, Leratong, Helen Joseph and the Rahima Moosa Mother and Child Hospital.
Concerns have been raised by the Gauteng Department of Health. The department said the ongoing water disruptions negatively impacted the service delivery at the hospitals.
“As an interim measure, provision is always made to supply affected facilities with water tankers,” Gauteng Health spokesperson, Kwara Kekana said.
Tons of water needed to perform services
Kekana said they have engaged Joburg Water, Rand Water and the Department of Infrastructure Development and other stakeholders to find a solution.
Kekana said given that health facilities require tons of water to perform various services,and the need for sustained supply of water, the stopgap measure only allows for limited service provision.
Kekana said management at two of the facilities, Rahima Moosa and Helen Joseph, transferred some of their patients to other healthcare facilities as a way of alleviating the pressure.
Kekana said parts of Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital were without water, with low pressure in some areas on Monday morning.
“Leratong Hospital water supply has been restored, albeit with low pressure,” Kekana said.
“We continue to appeal to communities and our patients to bear with us as various government agencies are working to find lasting solutions to the prevailing challenges which are outside our core mandate. This will allow the Gauteng Department of Health to focus on the provision of clinical care to patients,” Kekana added.
Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital
Meanwhile, the DA has once again sounded the alarm over the welfare of cancer patients at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital.
DA spokesperson for Health, Jack Bloom, said the hospital was severely short-staffed, has frequent chemotherapy drugs out of stock, and has broken and out-of-date radiation machines.
“It shows the dire situation for 1300 cancer patients even before the recent fire at the hospital closed the unit and made things even worse for them,” he said.
Bloom said the revelations were made by Gauteng Health MEC Nomathemba Mokgethi in a written reply to questions in the Gauteng Legislature.
The hospital needs specialist oncologists, radiation therapists as well as a range of other specialist staff.
“There is a shortage of drugs, delaying patients’ treatment and a shortage of nursing staff,” Bloom said.
He said there is also an insufficient number of linear accelerators, old equipment, broken cobalt units and a brachytherapy machine that does not work.
“The worst waiting list is for prostate cancer patients – 700 patients are on hormonal therapy and will wait from 3 to 5 years for radiotherapy,” Bloom said.
He said all these problems predated the closure of the cancer unit after the fire six weeks ago. “The alternative arrangements to treat cancer patients at the Chris Hani Baragwanath and Steve Biko hospitals are woefully inadequate, and the treatment delays are getting worse,” he said.
Bloom said the one ray of light is that there are discussions with the Netcare Hospital Group who are putting together a Private Public Partnership for cancer treatment.
“This proposal should be speeded up, as well as the reopening of the CMJH unit with extra staff and new machines,” he said.