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Compiled by Devina Haripersad

Steve Biko Hospital running out of steam

Steam-dependent services have been impacted after steam generating boilers broke down.

The Steve Biko Academic Hospital (SBAH) and its neighbouring medical facilities are currently facing a steam power shortage.

The Gauteng Department of Health has declared an urgent need to restore steam supply to the hospital, which has been suffering from inadequate steam supply due to a breakdown in its steam generating boilers.

According to a statement from the Gauteng Health Department, the situation has led to a negative impact on some of the steam-dependent services at the hospital and surrounding facilities.

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The statement confirmed that a number of health facilities in the hospital complex, including Tshwane District Hospital, Pretoria Oral and Dental Hospital, Tshwane Rehabilitation Hospital, Pretoria Forensic Pathology Mortuary, Tshwane Health District’s Crisis Centre, Pretoria Hospital School, and SG Lourens Nursing Campus, are all affected.

“The steam power at SBAH is used for many important purposes such as central air-conditioning (cooling) and air heaters, cooking, hot water, autoclaving, refrigeration, and freezers, among other services,” the department explained.

Two boilers experiencing issues

The department reported that it was two boilers that supply steam to these services that have been experiencing issues.

“One of the boilers has been undergoing statutory preparation and will be back on line in May 2023. The second boiler recently collapsed on 17 April, and is now off-line awaiting repairs,” the Health Department explained.

It added that it was working hard to bring the third boiler back online in the coming days to ensure that the hospital can have a functional boiler once again.

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“We hope that this crisis will soon come to an end and that the Steve Biko Academic Hospital and surrounding facilities will be able to operate at full capacity once again,” the department said.

Fortunately, the Steve Biko Academic Hospital is one of the health institutions in the country that is exempt from load shedding.

However, the hospital has not been exempt from power outages as a result of cable theft. In March, the hospital had to rely on generators for important procedures for two days while power was being restored.

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