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WC healthcare facilities capacitated with generators

By Lorraine Botha MPP
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A reply to a parliamentary question has revealed that the Western Cape Department of Health has in place generators to supply hospitals and healthcare institutions with electricity, during power cuts.

Resulting from the inability of Eskom, a national competency, to render a secure and consistent power supply, greater pressure has been placed local and provincial governments to ensure energy security.

The Department currently has generators installed at all district, regional and tertiary hospitals, all 24-hour primary health facilities, some day-clinics, the majority of forensic pathology laboratories and EMS bases. There are also generators installed at the Cape Medical Depot as well as the Chronic Dispensing Unit. The Department has also established a Departmental Electrical Supply Response Team to conduct a situational analysis, identify critical needs and to develop a business continuity plan for the Department’s operations.

While the diesel storage capacity differs at various facilities, the standard is to maintain a 72-hour fuel reserves at each healthcare facility. The generators have an operation life of 55 000 hours, are functional and maintained by the Directorate of Engineering and Technical Support. The Department also has agreements with the service providers of the generators, for the continued maintenance of generators.

164 facilities have standby generators installed. A tender to supply a further 66 standby generators at various identified facilities is at adjudication stage. At institutions with generators providing back-up power, the IT systems can all be maintained at a local level and function to support both patient care and support services.

All Toxicology and Pharmacology services, laboratories and blood banks will be kept operational through means of generators to accommodate testing and servicing of all health sites. These laboratories are either connected to the generator on the hospital premises or a nearby site.