Tuesday, 23 May 2017
The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) in KwaZulu-Natal is seriously concerned about the working conditions of stand-in generators in the province in cases of power emergencies, following the fire incidents at Port Shepstone and Mahatma Gandhi hospitals yesterday morning and afternoon respectively.
We are thankful that no patient’s or health professional’s life was endangered by the outbreak of the fires, as patients in the affected wards were transferred to the nearest facilities.
However, DENOSA is increasingly becoming concerned about how serious the management at health institutions take the functionality of generators that should automatically kick in whenever there is disruption caused by power failure. Health facilities have very critical sections like ICU and theatre where lives of patients are solely dependent on the functionality of equipment. By not having reserve generators kicking as soon as power disruptions occur, patients’ lives could be lost very easily.
Furthermore, when fire broke out at Port Shepstone Hospital, health professionals like nurses and doctors were the ones performing the evacuation of patients whereas management, who form part of the risk committees, was nowhere to be found. This is concerning.
At Mahatma Gandhi Hospital, when night shift workers came to work after the fire, there were no lights inside the wards. What is worrying is why electricity was not sorted and nurses were forced to work in darkness? Our view is that this seriously compromised patient care because recording of vital information by nurses forms a great part of their work. By 06h00 in the morning, when the morning shift had to come in, because it was still dark, it was a challenge to manage the hand-over from the night shift to the new morning shift.
DENOSA makes a plea to all management of hospitals and clinics around the province to ensure that their generators are well-serviced timeously and are fully-functional all the time.
DENOSA urges all its shop stewards at institutions to report to the organisation all institutions that have not been servicing their generators, because it is patients that will suffer the consequences of having generators that are not serviced or functional.
Issued by the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA)
For more information, contact:
Mandla Shabangu, DENOSA Provincial Organiser in KwaZulu-Natal
Mobile: 071 643 3369
Tel: 031 305 1417
Facebook: DENOSA National Page