Family and loved ones of patients who were admitted to Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe Hospital in Kimberley were on Thursday prohibited from visiting family members at the hospital due to the water shutdown.
FAMILY and loved ones of patients who were admitted to Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe Hospital in Kimberley were yesterday prohibited from visiting family members at the hospital due to the water shutdown.
The water will be off until August 14.
Families were shocked when they were denied access to the hospital to see their ailing family members due to the water shutdown.
Some said they do not understand how the shutdown and visiting hours at the hospital go hand-in-hand.
“How is not seeing your sick family going to assist or ease the water shutdown. We do not visit our family in the hospital to make use of the bathing facilities inside the hospital. We bath at home, why are we now not allowed access?
“Even if the department can say that people might drink the water, how much water will they lose because people will probably drink one glass or even two glasses of water at most.”
Another resident said the department is failing the patients and depriving them of a basic need.
“I do not understand how this hospital does not have emergency measures in place for such situations. This is not the first water shutdown the city has experienced. In fact, the water shutdown is an annual experience in Kimberley. Past experience should have shown the department that it needs to ensure that its water supply to health facilities is sufficient.
“Some of our family members in the hospital need assistance with some things. We go to the hospital to ensure that their needs are met. Now we might not see them for several days.”
Patients from other parts of the Province indicated that they were forced to return home without having received their scheduled surgery.
“One gets admitted to hospital and has to wait for a couple of days in order to be assessed prior to going in for surgery. Some of us were brought to Kimberley with the hope of being operated on. However, we were told that we need to return home as there are no operations being conducted due to the shutdown,” they said.
Northern Cape Department of Health spokesperson Lulu Mxekezo has confirmed that visiting hours and surgeries have been suspended until next week.
“The department confirms that the Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe Hospital will postpone the elective surgeries and only deal with emergency surgeries for the duration of the water shutdown in Kimberley. This will ensure that there is enough linen for patients during his period.
“The contractor has completed work relating to the water pipes at the facility. The Sol Plaatje Municipality will be supplying water tankers to fill up the JoJo tanks in order to ensure sufficient water for both patients and personnel,” said Mxekezo.
She added that the prohibition of visitors was necessary in order not to drain the system.
“The reason for restricting visitors during this period is to ensure that the available water at the facility is sufficient for the patients and personnel,” she said.