KZN hospitals battling to recover from storms

KZN hospitals battling to recover from stormsFile Photo.

Kwa-Zulu Natal – The EThekwini District is still battling to recover after the massive thunderstorms, strong winds and heavy rains that hit the area in October resulting in eight deaths, many people injured and bad damage to 60 hospital wards.

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The KZN Department of Health, which had to transport patients from damaged hospitals to others nearby, is still battling to repair the infrastructure and equipment damaged during the flooding.

The department has been meeting with the Department of Public Works and Treasury to assess the damage, work out what damage needs to be repaired, the estimated funding needed and plan going forward. 

“We are working on the damage to each affected institution based on assessments by the Provincial Infrastructure Disaster Response Teams and Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, who dropped everything to come and personally assess how the hospitals were coping,” said Health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo at a recent media briefing.

Badly affected

Five hospitals – King Edward Hospital, Prince Mshiyeni Memorial Hospital, Addington Hospital, Wentworth Hospital and King Dinuzulu Hospital – were badly affected due to the storms. Some had their roofs blown off, walls collapsed and equipment was damaged. But despite this, management at these health facilities was still able to ensure that patients were taken care of throughout the disaster.

“Almost R98 200 000 is required to fix all damaged facilities. But we are privileged and hear that other departments will assist in raising what we need,” said Dhlomo.

“Some private hospitals have offered to make their facilities available in case the department needs to transfer some patients. So far hospitals are working smoothly, but I would like to urge the public to be calm and understanding and if possible delay any visits to the five hospitals for ailments that are not serious while construction and repairs are ongoing,” explained Dhlomo. – Health-e News.