Friday, October 15, 2010

Blackouts threaten Mendi hospital



CONSTANT power blackouts in Mendi town, Southern Highlands, is becoming life-threatening for patients at the Mendi General Hospital, chief executive officer Joe Turian warned yesterday, The National reports.

Turian said blackouts was threatening the life of patients put on life support, babies placed in incubators, sterilising machines and other hospital equipment.

He described the electricity service as “appalling”.

He said during many power outages, doctors were in the middle of operations and the situation had become chaotic and life-threatening. 

Turian said the oxygen concentrator was also powered by electricity to produce oxygen for patients and, when the supply stayed off for long periods, the patients suffer and will die from oxygen deprivation. 

“The hospital operates life-saving machines that depend on electricity and, once the power supply goes off for long periods, patients on lif-saving machines will suffer and die,” he added.

“The hospital depends on electricity to power everything from laundry washing, sterilising machines, fire equipment, water filtration and kitchen equipment, X-ray, dental equipment, incinerator and workshop machine to laboratory equipment and others,” he said.

“We are grateful that we have not lost any patients,” he said.

The hospital gets its power supply from the Ramu grid, operated by PNG Power. It did not have a backup generator until one was donated recently.

But the problem of constant outages seemed to come from interferences to power lines by vandals.



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