Hospital lift makes patients sick

Zinhle Mapumulo

Zinhle Mapumulo

Broken lifts at the Johannesburg hospital continue to inconvenience patients and staff. Although half of the lifts have been fixed 12 are still not operating.

As a result, seriously ill patients, including those with lung problems, are forced to climb the stairs to the wards.

Gerald Lues is one of the patients who put his life in danger when he climbed nine floors knowing he had breathing problems.

Leus, 46, suffers from cystic fibrosis, a genetic disorder affecting the mucus lining of the lungs, leading to breathing problems and other difficulties.

He had to drag his three bags up to the ninth floor where he was going to be admitted for two weeks.

"I had no option but to climb the stairs with the bags. I kept on taking breaks as I moved from one floor to the other.

"My respiratory system is not good - for me to climb nine floor was a total risk. But as they say beggars are not choosers. I wanted medical help and if the only way to get it was to climb nine floors, so be it," said Leus.

Lifts at the Johannesburg hospital have been disfunctional since mid-November last year. The hospital pushes the blame on the Gauteng Department of Public Works saying they are responsible for the maintainance of the lifts.

Lungiswa Mvumvu, hospital spokesman confirmed that 10 of the 22 lifts have been fixed and the others are on the process of being fixed.