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20th Aug 2022

Architect Africa Online

Africa's Leading Architecture Aggregator

Health services collapse: Joburg Water disruption hits Helen Joseph Hospital


by Jack Bloom MPL – DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health

Johannesburg’s unreliable water supply hit the Helen Joseph Hospital this week, which struggled without water for more than two days, causing great distress to staff and patients.

The cause of the problem was a disrupted supply of water from the Hursthill Reservoir, which affected a large part of north west Johannesburg.

Patients at the hospital were given bottled water, but toilets became blocked and smelly, and a number of operations were cancelled.

One patient even ordered a delivery of water from a supermarket in order to help other patients in his ward.

This hospital has suffered previously from the city’s failing water system due to years of poor maintenance.

Our public health system is already severely strained, but hospitals and clinics have to cope with water and power cuts which happen without warning.

Sometimes the problem is internal, like when pipe problems recently cut water to the Steve Biko hospital.

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It is outrageous that mismanagement at various levels inflicts hardship on places of healing.

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