A broken Chiller at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital has not been repaired for more than a year, which means there is no back-up to cool operating theatres if any of the other four Chillers breaks down.
This is revealed in a written reply by Gauteng Infrastructure Development MEC Nandi Mayathula-Khoza to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature.
According to Mayathula-Khoza “the hospital is operating without any standby chiller. If any of the four chillers currently running fail, temperatures will rise again, which may lead to the postponement of theatre operations.”
Chiller number 1 has been broken since December 2013 when the compressor developed a leakage and the motor needed to be replaced. The compressor was sent to various places for repair but they failed. The chiller has now been condemned as replacement parts would cost more than R2.5 million.
Chiller number 4 failed in January this year because of a leakage of refrigerant gas and was only repaired in early March because the previous contractor failed to do the repair and had to be replaced.
A number of operations had to be cancelled for three weeks because of the lack of a back-up chiller to keep temperatures down in the theatres.
It is unacceptable that surgery at this flagship hospital is disrupted because of broken equipment. A working back-up chiller should be installed as soon as possible to ensure that theatres are always properly cooled.
Jack Bloom MPL
DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health
082 333 4222