Parts of Bara without water for a week

Sections of Chris Hani-Baragwanath Hospital in Johannesburg have been without water for nearly a week, the Star reported on Tuesday.

This has resulted in theatres being closed, several toilets out of order and, according to one specialist surgeon, the hygiene of patients being compromised.

Hospital spokesperson Hester van den Heever confirmed that sections of the hospital had been without water since at least Thursday because of a burst water pipe outside the hospital.

“I think that about three wards have been affected, part of the theatre and some kitchens.”

The surgeon, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “Usually I wash my hands in between dealing with patients, but now no-one has been able to wash their hands and patients are not being washed.”


Dr Anna Speraco, a surgeon at Bara, said: “There is no water at all here and it is a problem. I think that the size of this problem was underestimated initially and that resulted in an even bigger problem.”

Dr Arthur Manning, the chief executive officer of the hospital said the water shortage had not posed a danger to any patient’s life.

Johannesburg Water spokesperson Baldwin Matsimela said the problem had nothing to do with the utility, but with the hospital.

“Last week we were informed by them that it was a pipe burst on the hospital grounds and that they would call their plumbers. We have been providing a water tanker, which we fill every morning,” he said.

Justine Arnolds, who works in the X-ray department, said only one tap was working in the entire department.

“It’s not enough because it comes and goes,” said Arnolds, adding that the toilets for patients had to be flushed with buckets of water.

According to Wikipedia the hospital is the largest in the world.

The website said more than two thousand patients check in to the hospital daily and nearly half of them are HIV positive.

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

Collusion, competition and corruption — A new Rx for better healthcare?

The three Cs: Collusion, competition and corruption. There’ll be a renewed push to safeguard your money when it comes to healthcare, but will it work?

Judges grill Gauteng health

The province grasped at straws in a court appeal for relief regarding payouts for medical negligence

Operation by cellphone light: Bara bosses blamed

Poor management at Bara hospital left doctors with no choice but to operate on a patient using only the light from cellphones and iPads, says Sama.

A healthy reaction to vigorous journalism

Bhekisisa looks back at, and follows up on, some of the most popular and impactful stories of 2013.

A lone walk to Pretoria

An artist's march from Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital to the Union Buildings has drawn attention to the perilous state of public health in South Africa.

Bara nursing college closed indefinitely

The Chris Hani Baragwanath Nursing College has been closed indefinitely because of student protests, the Gauteng department of health said.
Advertising

Western Cape warned not to be complacent about flat-lining Covid-19...

The Western Cape, which once had the highest number of Covid-19 cases in South Africa, is seeing a steady decline in active cases

Sisulu axes another water board

Umgeni Water’s board in KwaZulu-Natal was appointed irregularly by her predecessor, the water and sanitation minister claims
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday