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By Gareth Cotterell

Digital Editor


Phaahla confirms SA’s major public hospitals now exempt from load shedding

Hospitals and clinics will be exempt based on the number of patients they have and the services they provide.


Health Minister Joe Phaahla on Friday released a list of major hospitals and healthcare facilities in South Africa that will no longer experience load shedding.

This comes after concerns were raised that load shedding was compromising healthcare services at public health facilities.

Phaahla said government had engaged with Eskom and the Department of Public Works on how load shedding can be managed so that healthcare services are not disrupted and patients’ lives are not put at risk.

“We appreciate the support and commitment by Eskom to support the exclusion of certain health facilities from load shedding,” he said.

Hospitals exempt from load shedding

Phaahla added that hospitals and clinics will not experience load shedding based on the number of patients they have, the types of services they provide, and the equipment that they use, such as ventilators.

“Equipment is at risk in our ICUs and those are some of the very sensitive equipment which has to be protected. Because if there can be any power interruption with a ventilator, you’re almost certain that the patient is going to die.”

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The health minister said there are 37 health facilities that have been exempted from load shedding so far, but more are expected to be added.

Phaahla said although some hospitals and clinics are now exempt from blackouts, health facilities have been told to use electricity sparingly.

“We have given an undertaking to Eskom that we respect their call to ensure very prudent use of electricity so that the nation can benefit while there is a shortage.”

Renewable energy

He said plans are in place to introduce renewable energy to some public hospitals, which will save costs for the facilities as well as protect them from load shedding.

“We’re also working on a phased approach to investing in renewable energy through the installation of solar power facilities at our facility and all our health facilities to provide an energy mix.

The Health Department is also discussing budgets with National Treasury to address the increased cost that hospitals face due to the increased use of generators and diesel.

“Some of our districts and health facilities, in September, have already exhausted the supply of what they’ve budgeted for in terms of the maintenance of generators,” said Phaahla.

List of exempted health facilities:

Gauteng

  • Charlotte Maxeke Hospital,
  • Helen Joseph Hospital,
  • Steve Biko Academic Hospital,
  • George Mukhari Hospital,
  • Pretoria West Hospital,
  • Tshwane District Hospital,
  • Mamelodi Hospital,
  • Bronkhorstpruit Hospital, and
  • Katlehong Hospital.

KwaZulu-Natal: 

  • Harry Gwala Hospital (former Edendale),
  • Greys Hospital,
  • Ladysmith Hospital,
  • Prince Mshiyeni Hospital,
  • RK Khan Hospital,
  • Inkosi Albert Luthuli Hospital,
  • McCords Hospital,
  • King Dinizulu Hospital,
  • Mandela Children’s Hospital,
  • Mahatma Gandhi Hospital,
  • Osindindisweni Hospital,
  • St Aidans Hospital,
  • Addington Hospital,
  • Clairwood Hospital.

Limpopo

  • Mankweng Hospital,
  • Lebowakgomo Hospital,
  • Dilokong Hospital,
  • Maklenburg Hospital.

Eastern Cape: 

  • Frere Hospital,
  • Elliot Hospital,
  • Livingstone Hospital,
  • Port Elizabeth Provincial Hospital,
  • Uitenhage Hospital.

Free State: 

  • Pelonomi Academic Hospital.

Western Cape: 

  • Tygerberg Hospital,
  • Groote Schuur Hospital,
  • Red Cross Hospital.

Three hospitals have been submitted in the Northern Cape, with the Health Department saying it’s waiting for Eskom to approve.

In Mpumalanga, the department is waiting for a response on Witbank and Rob Ferreira hospitals.

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