FOR WRITTEN REPLY
QUESTION NO. 360
DATE OF PUBLICATION IN INTERNAL QUESTION PAPER: 18 February 2011
(INTERNAL QUESTION PAPER NO. 2)
Mr M Waters (DA) to ask the Minister of Health:
How many (i) operations have been (aa) postponed or (bb) cancelled due to the conditions at the Helen Joseph Hospital, (b) for what period was the hospital without (i) enough oxygen and (ii) fully functional boilers and (c) who is responsible for ensuring that the hospital has (i) enough oxygen and (ii) fully functional boilers?
(a) For the period January 2010 to December 2010 the following number of operations were either postponed or cancelled, but all were re-booked and carried out at a later date:
* 3 cancelled and 1 postponed (due to medical air problems)
* 8 cancelled and 2 postponed (due to ventilation problems)
* 13 cancelled (due to electricity backup failure)
* 3 cancelled and 1 postponed (due to autoclave problems)
Total for 2010: 27 cancelled / 4 postponed
For the first two months of 2011, the following has happened:
On 8th and 9th February 2011 all theatre lists were delayed due to autoclave problems; patients were counselled and rebooked.
(b)(i) The Helen Joseph Hospital did not record any shortages of oxygen during 2010. Medical air problems did however occur due to a compressor breakdown in December 2010. The theatre and ICU departments were affected by this breakdown. A temporary medical air compressor was hired from a service provider (Solojo) for the period 7th December 2010 to 8th February 2011.
(ii) In December 2010, a dysfunctional boiler (steam) affected the kitchen and theatre department. This resulted in the cancellation of 3 operations and postponement of 1 operation. A subsequent breakdown of the boiler again occurred on 8th February 2011, but was repaired the following day.
(c) The hospital’s Department of Infrastructure Development is responsible for ensuring the hospital has enough oxygen and medical air, and that it has fully functional boilers.
Issued by Parliament, March 4 2011