Day hospital plans way forward

An electric fault, which led to a fired gutted Mitchells Plain day hospital.

Mitchell’s Plain day hospital staff are planning the way forward after a fire gutted part of the facility last week.

The fire broke out at the Eastridge centre, at about 12.30pm on Friday September 13.

All patients and staff were evacuated and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) transferred eight patients to the Mitchell’s Plain District Hospital, in Lentegeur.

City of Cape Town Fire Services spokesman Jermaine Carelse said the quick reaction time of the fire crews resulted in the fire being contained to the theatre section of the hospital, and the fire was put out just after 3pm.

“It took a considerable time to extinguish the fire and ensure that the area is safe,” he said.

Mr Carelse said that on Monday September 16 an electrical wire had been arcing inside the roof void, near the consultation area.

“The electrician from their department was on scene and isolated that area,” he said.

Arcing, sometimes called an arc flash, occurs when electricity flows or discharges along an unintended path.

All services, including the midwife obstetric unit (MOU), were affected and at the weekend patients were diverted to Mitchell’s Plain District Hospital.

On Monday September 16, the day hospital opened its doors at 7am.

Provincial health department spokeswoman Monique Johnstone said management would meet to discuss the way forward.

“But they will continue. We just need to work out a new area to offer these services.”

Ms Johnstone said the main reception area, currently under renovation was separate from the theatre area, located behind the MOU (“Health centre upgrades,” Plainsman, September 11).

All staff from emergency and maternity units will be working at the Mitchell’s Plain District Hospital until services resume at the facility. Patients will be informed once services are operational and are encouraged to utilise other healthcare centres in the interim.