Bara hospital pleads with thieves
CHRIS Hani-Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto experienced two power failures in just one week as a result of cable theft.
The first outage occurred on Thursday and the second on Saturday, leaving 16 operating theatres without electricity.
To make matters worse, three of the 16 generators failed to kick in.
The generators that failed to start supply power to both the intensive care unit and the St John's Eye Hospital.
Hospital CEO Johanna More said the failures were due to cable theft. "The community should stop stealing cables because it affects hospital operations and the patients," More said.
Thieves should think about the health of patients. "It could be your relative in theatre getting an operation when the power goes off. Help us so we can help you".
She blamed the hospital's department of infrastructure and development for the generators not kicking in due to damaged switches.
"The department should have known about this because they service the generators.
"The department is also responsible for lifts and the hospital electricity."
An employee at the department, who did not want to be named, said: "The hospital generators are old but a major service takes place once a year, along with testing once every month".
They were aware of the broken switches, and the failure of the generators not operating was because they had to be activated manually.
Their main challenge was that in winter there was a power overload, with every office having a heater.
DA Gauteng health spokesman Jack Bloom criticised the hospital.
"Doctors had to use headlamps and torches to complete operations.
"Cable theft has been given as a reason, but this is a poor excuse as R20 million a year is spent on security at the hospital.
"Last year there were a whole lot of power failures that we were told would not happen again. There needs to be accountability for the latest power failures."