Hospital fire under investigation

Above: An infant is evacuated from Mitchells Plain District Hospital, after a fire broke out on Saturday February 10.

The cause of the fire at Mitchell’s Plain District Hospital, which saw the evacuation of 202 patients, is being investigated.

Heavy smoke was detected at 7.15am on Saturday February 10, where a fire had started in the emergency centre.

Staff immediately contacted the department’s provincial health operations centre, who activated its Major Incident Plan along with the hospital.

The patients were evacuated with no injuries to patients or staff reported. With the help of the fire department and SAPS, the fire was put out.

The fire department inspected the hospital and declared it safe for patients to be moved back into the wards hours later.

The hospital was cleaned before patients were moved back but the damaged emergency centre is still undergoing cleaning and repairs.

All patients requiring urgent emergency healthcare are asked to go to Mitchell’s Plain Community Health Care Centre’s (CHC) emergency centre in Eastridge, until the centre at the Mitchell’s Plain District Hospital is fully operational. A temporary emergency centre has been set up at the district hospital to attend to patients who are referred by the Mitchell’s Plain CHC emergency centre, while emergency medical services (EMS) will be transferring patients who require hospital admission to other hospitals.

The temporary emergency centre at the hospital is currently unable to accommodate an influx of walk-in patients, and will therefore only treat patients who are being referred by the Mitchell’s Plain CHC emergency centre.

The Mitchell’s Plain CHC emergency centre will be capacitated with additional medical staff to assist with the patient load increase and referrals to the district hospital.

Monique Johnstone, spokesperson for Klipfontein/Mitchell’s Plain sub-structure, said the department would like to thank staff and the department’s partners for the swift co-ordination and collaboration which ensured the safety of patients and moving them back.