Low-pressure water supplied by Rand Water to the Emfuleni municipality has delayed operations at the Sebokeng Hospital because it lowers the efficiency of air-conditioning in the theatres.
This problem hit the hospital after 11 December last year when Rand Water and Emfuleni reached an agreement concerning outstanding water payments whereby the amount of bulk water was reduced to the council. Residents were warned that this could result in low pressure and intermittent water supply.
The cooling units at the hospital’s theatres are only receiving water at 2 bars of pressure, instead of 4 bars, which lowers their efficiency.
Surgery should only be done under cool conditions because of the danger of heat-related sepsis, which is why some surgery at the hospital is now being done at night.
Only short operations that are less than three hours are being done during the day, and an arrangement has been made for longer surgery, mostly Orthopaedic, to be done at the Kopanong Hospital, but they can only do five operations a day.
Surgery backlogs are building up at Sebokeng Hospital which is trying to get a pump that will hopefully solve the water pressure problem.
It is distressing that the failure of the Emfuleni Council to pay its water bills has led to much stress and inconvenience for patients and staff at this hospital.