Patients have been evacuated from the Thusong District Hospital in North West following reports of high temperature that is coming from the floor of the pharmacy at the facility, Health MEC Madoda Sambatha said.
“It was reported to the hospital management and as a result electricity was completely switched off to thoroughly observe if the heat was not a results of underground electrical wires. After an hour the ground heat/temperature continued to increase.
“As a precaution, patients have been evacuated and transferred to local hospitals,” he said.
Some patients were transferred to Itsoseng Community Health Centre (CHC), others at Gelukspan Hospital and General Delarey Hospital which is part of the hospital complex together with Thusong.
“In addition, other pharmaceuticals including oxygen are being moved to General Delarey Hospital and Itsoseng CHC. Patients records also are been moved.”
He pleaded with the community including the next of kin of the patients who were moved to other local hospitals to remain calm because the department was pro-actively taking this precaution with the best interest of patients at heart.
“We know that Thusong Hospital was built on dolomitic soil, which causes a lot of cracks on the walls, and the infrastructure condition is currently in a total despair despite efforts to maintain the infrastructure. We therefore have to act decisively when we observe unusual activity on the ground or the infrastructure,” he said.
Thusong District Hospital was built in 1968, it provided health services to the communities who could not afford travelling cost to General Delarey Hospital in Lichtenburg to access health services.
The hospital is located between Mahikeng and Lichtenburg Town along the 503 road.
Communities who have been receiving services at Thusong Hospital come from Lichtenburg, Coligny, Biesiesvlei, Verdwaal, Sheila, Bodibe and Itsoseng.
Referrals to Thusong District Hospital come from two community health centres that operate 24 hours, four primary health-care clinics that operate 24 hours, 12 primary health care facilities that operate eight hours and five mobile clinics. The hospital is serving a catchment population of 205 802.
The hospital has been referring to Mahikeng Provincial Hospital which is about 39km away.
Thusong has 120 approved beds that are divided into a paediatric ward with 40 beds, adult medical beds, 58, and adult surgical beds, 22.
Sambatha met labour unions, traditional leadership representatives, and politicians in March 2021 regarding the closure of Thusong District Hospital since it remained a risk to both staff and community.
Following the planned decommissioning of the hospital, the services would be split into General De la Rey and Itsoseng CHC. Itsoseng CHC would be turned into a district hospital.