Water crisis: MEC must investigate functionality of reserve water tanks at Kimberley Hospital

By Dr Isak Fritz MPL, DA Northern Cape Provincial Spokesperson of Health:

In the midst of Kimberley’s water crisis, the DA is calling on the Northern Cape Health Department to urgently see to the adequate storage of water in its reserve tanks in order to ensure that the provision of health care services at Kimberley Hospital is not further interrupted.

This comes after Kimberley Hospital was left high and dry this morning, forcing it to cancel its theatre lists and general services and only deal with life-threatening emergencies. The hospital was also affected in terms of unwashed linen and the hospitals inability to wash, steam and sterilize medical equipment as a result of the water shortage.

It is unacceptable that the Northern Cape’s only tertiary hospital has been brought to a standstill as a result of the water shortage. The hospital already has a backlog when it comes to waiting lists for operations, and now sick people will have to wait even longer to receive the medical treatment that they desperately require.

The DA is calling on Health MEC, Mac Jack, to investigate allegations that hospital management has failed to maintain its reserve water tanks.

Jack, must ensure that Kimberley Hospital, and all other health facilities for that matter, have sufficient water reserves to carry them through times of scarcity. This is critical given Sol Plaatje municipality’s inability to secure water provision for the Kimberley area. It is also increasingly important given the current climate of drought and water shortages across the country.

The DA will next week pose questions to the Health Department regarding the capacity and functionality of its water reserve tanks at Kimberley Hospital and other facilities. The department is due to appear before the legislature committee on Tuesday next week to present both its annual and quarterly reports.

The provision of water and health care services are interlinked and the Health Department must assume responsibility for this inter-reliant relationship.