Doctor on load shedding: 'We are playing Russian roulette with our patients'

Thabo Mdluli spoke to prof Adam Mahomed from Charlotte Maxeke about the impact of constant power cuts on the healthcare system.

FILE: At hospitals the situation is equally devastating as hospitals are unable to cope in the way they need to during loadshedding, and people’s lives are at stake as a result. Picture: © sudok1/123rf.com

Continuous power cuts have a devastating effect on South Africa's hospitals.

Moreover, it affects patients with specific healthcare needs.

Thabo Mdluli spoke to prof Adam Mahomed from Charlotte Maxeke about the impact of constant power cuts on the healthcare system.

One listener called in to share the story of her father who was on oxygen but was struggling to replace his smaller oxygen cylinder which he relied on during load shedding. Without having access to his oxygen he could suffer serious health complications. This is not a problem exclusive to private citizens.

Hospitals are buckling under pressure due to load shedding - which puts people's lives at stake.

On a daily basis, we are playing Russian roulette with our patients, whenever we are switching off the hospitals' electricity supply.

Prof Adam Mahomed, doctor Charlotte Maxeke

While there are batteries and generators to power some of the machines, they cannot cope with the frequency of load shedding.

As a result, some of the machines break down.

In addition, it is also becoming financially unviable for hospitals to run with the cost of diesel, generators and machine repairs.

Lives will be lost if change does not come soon enough.

To find out more, listen to the full audio below.