The department of health in Mpumalanga has conceded to Health24 that the KwaMhlanga hospital has been hit by water outages, but denies reports that the health of patients is at risk.
Patients speaking to The Sowetan claimed that a water shortage was so severe that their relatives had to bring water to the hospital.
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"The department is not aware of a situation where people had to bring their own water,"provincial health spokesperson Dumisani Malamule told Health24.
He said the whole of Kwa-Mhlanga was currently short of water. "This has also affected the hospital," said Malamule, adding that department moved quickly to make water available to the hospital.
"Since the problem occurred, we have sourced assistance from the Thembisile Hani local municipality and the fire department to provide water tanks.
Malamule said the department had also secured pumps to ensure that water was pumped directly from the tanks to the reservoirs. "The contractor is already on site busy with the installation of the water pumps."
One patient claims she had to fetch water from the mortuary, which is located on the hospital premises, so she could have a bath. She also complained about the toilets being unhygienic.
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Another patient was reportedly concerned that a wound would become septic because it had not been cleaned properly since the hospital's water woes started about a fortnight ago.
He also claimed not to have received meals on schedule. Malamule denied this. "The allegations of patients not receiving food on time were not true and even up to now food is available for all patients. They get three meals a day on time."
He also rejected claims by the DA in Mpumalanga who, during an oversight visit to the hospital, had found that the water crisis had caused a shortage of bedding, forcing patients to provide their own blankets.
"It is not true that there are no blankets and linen. All patients are provided with clean blankets and linen," he responded.
DA MPL spokesperson on health and social development, Jane Sithole, said the lack of water had brought the hospital to a standstill.
She said the party planned on visiting KwaMhlanga hospital again on Tuesday.
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Image: Doctors and nurses in a hospital corridor from Shutterstock.