THE Provincial Department of Health has responded to allegations of water shortages affecting Bethesda Hospital at Obonjeni, as was reported in the ZO last week.
Department Spokesperson Ncumisa Mafunda said her department had long installed water tanks as temporary measures to ensure that laundry, kitchen, X-rays and theatre were kept operating at the hospital without any challenges.
‘There is no truth in the story that the hospital was on the verge of being shut down owing to water shortages. The issue of water supply is a national crisis and is not only affecting KZN as a province.
‘At local government level, water supply is a competency of a municipality not the Department of Health.
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‘However, we can confirm that one of our facilities has encountered challenges of water supply for some time, as a result of the problems the municipality is facing.
‘We wish to extend our sympathy to the patients and staff of the hospital who might have been inconvenienced owing to the shortage of water.
‘We have put up a steel reservoir tank that has a 517 000 litres capacity, to ensure that there is adequate drinking water for patients.
‘We have serviced three boreholes to ensure that they are fully functional,’ she said
Mafunda said the hospital was working together with the municipality to manage systems of water supply at Bethesda Hospital.
This, she said includes a recent visit by municipal technicians to the water plant to repair dysfunctional pumps, and also frequent meetings to review the status of water supply at the hospital.
‘The hospital is also utilising water supplied by the municipal tankers,’ she said.
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