Heroic action saves patients as generators fail at Joburg Hospital

Jack Bloom MPL

Spokesperson on Health

Staff at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital acted heroically to save patients last night as generators failed to kick in after a major power failure. Two of the five main generators failed to operate when electricity cut at about 5pm yesterday, leaving large parts of the hospital without any power at all. There was no back-up power at the main 12-bed Intensive Care Unit for four hours until about 9pm. Doctors were called in from home to assist, and ICU patients were moved to general wards where there was light. According to a doctor I spoke to, the batteries on the ventilators were running out, and patients could have lost their lives. It is absolutely outrageous that generators at this hospital have failed for a second time in four months. Infrastructure Development MEC Qedani Mahlangu is out of touch. Yesterday she said at a press conference: “I can now confidently stand before you and say that in the event of a power outage, generators at Chris Hani Baragwanath and the generators at Charlotte Maxeke will power the hospitals.” There must be a full inquiry and someone must be fired for this latest foul up. It is high time that power problems at our hospitals are solved once and for all.

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