Hillbrow clinic in darkness without diesel for generator

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health:

The Hillbrow Clinic in Johannesburg was in darkness for most of the day yesterday because its generator did not have diesel.

When I visited the clinic I saw dark corridors and doctors who asked patients to light up the cubicles with their cell phones so that they could be examined. Many patients were told to come back to do tests that could not be done without light.

The Resuscitation room was in complete darkness, rendering it unusable.

At the casualty and maternity section I saw incubators, defibrillators and ECG machines without power even though this equipment can save lives.

The sutures room was also in darkness, making it almost impossible to do stitches.

There was poor light in the diabetes clinic where nurses complained about difficulty in administering injections and the danger that they could prick themselves.

At the pharmacy, the pharmacists used torches to read scripts and get medicines.

All circumcisions had to be cancelled.

The Hillbrow Clinic is usually very busy, seeing more than a 1000 patients a day.

Diesel was delivered to the clinic at 3pm, enabling the generators to provide power, but most patients had already left.

It is unacceptable that failure to keep an adequate supply of diesel causes so much disruption to a major clinic.

The Gauteng Health Department needs to determine why there was no diesel and ensure that there is accountability for this gross management failure.