Durban - The Hospital Association of South Africa (Hasa) has welcomed Health Minister Joe Phaahla’s stance on hospitals and its possible exemption from load shedding, which is currently crippling the country.
Hasa said it urged Phaahla for load shedding relief at acute care hospitals at “the very least”.
Hasa represents most of South Africa’s private hospital groups.
“The Hospital Association of South Africa, the representative organisation for most of the country’s private hospital groups, welcomes recent media reported responses from the Minister of Health, Dr Joe Phaahla, to requests to exempt hospitals from load shedding,” it said.
While the country debates sacking Eskom’s CEO Andre de Ruyter and which minister is to blame, the ongoing blackouts have been taking out businesses like target practice.
Numerous reports of small and medium-sized businesses shutting down because of load shedding have come from across the country, including local celebrity Maps Maponyane’s burger joint – Buns out.
In the health sector, Hasa said load shedding had affected the quality of care patients received. Load shedding has affected hospital equipment as well as spiked their operating expenses.
“For these reasons, Hasa urges the minister of health to advocate for relief from load shedding for all acute care hospitals at the very least, but also preferably for day clinics, and community clinics around the country,” Hasa added.
Two days ago, it was reported that Phaahla ordered the department’s director-general Sandile Buthelezi to finalise an assessment of the impact of the power cuts.
The department said Phaahla was engaging with (Minister of Public Enterprises) Pravin Gordhan, Eskom and municipalities, on the processes to be followed in order to exempt health facilities from load shedding.