Home News NC Health department says power trips at hospital were unforeseen

NC Health department says power trips at hospital were unforeseen

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The Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe Hospital. Picture: Soraya Crowie

The Northern Cape Department of Health has attributed power trips at the Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe Hospital (RMSH) as being ’completely unforeseen’ and stated that the electricity supply had been restored.

THE Northern Cape Department of Health has attributed power trips at Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe Hospital (RMSH) as being “completely unforeseen” and stated that the electricity supply had been restored.

Staff urged for the facility to be closed due to malfunctioning generators where the hospital was regularly plunged into darkness and surgeons were forced to use their cellphone flash lights in theatre when the power cut.

Spokesperson for the Department of Health Lulu Mxekezo on Friday indicated that there was a break in the electricity supply at RMSH on January 26.

“The incident which led to the break in the power supply was completely unforeseen as this was not caused by load shedding. Our existing backup electricity infrastructure was also damaged.

“Sol Plaatje Municipality confirmed there was an interruption of the electricity supply in the CBD which was repaired and as a result we experienced a cable break in our electrical supply to the health complex including RMSH Hospital. Due to the interruption of the electricity supply and the resultant cable fault, some of the generators were damaged and didn’t automatically start up when the electricity supply was interrupted. However, they were manually started and electricity was restored in the main areas of the hospital.”

She stated that they had seven large generators as part of the back-up electricity system that supplied major areas in the hospital, the administration and support areas in the event of a break down in the electricity supply.

“There are also some smaller generators to support minor areas in certain sections within the health complex.

“As part of the department’s response to restore the electricity supply, the services of two contractors were obtained to fix the faults as well as the generators which were damaged. This work started immediately after it was confirmed that the interruption of the electricity supply on the municipal side was repaired.”

Mxekezo said the electricity supply had been restored to both the municipal line while generators where in working order.

“We anticipate that repair of the cable fault will be completed on Friday.”

She added that the emergency medical services call centre had been temporarily affected where emergency medical calls had to be diverted to the fire department on Thursday.

“The line has been restored.

“RMSH is a facility that was opened in the early 1970s and as such the department has embarked on a process over the last number of years to replace the ageing systems and the electricity supply have been part of that process.”

Mxekezo indicated that they were in the process of procuring a new generator for one of the sections in the health complex, where a temporary generator was installed.

She denied that there were any outstanding payment issues for the use of the generators as was alleged.

“Once the main cable fault has been repaired we will be returning back to normal and we will communicate this to the public once restored.”

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