Fire Safety: Addington Hospital is a death trap

Democratic Alliance media statement by Dr Imran Keeka, MPL

DA KZN Spokesperson on  Health

Fire Safety: Addington Hospital is a death trap

 

The Democratic Alliance has today written to KZN Health MEC, Sibongiseni Dhlomo, (view here) to call for a comprehensive audit into fire safety compliance levels at the province’s hospitals, in particular Addington Hospital and the ageing King Edward VIII facility.

In the case of Addington, it is common knowledge amongst KZN’s health portfolio committee members, as well as the members of the National Council of Provinces, that this hospital is not fire compliant. In fact it is a death trap. The issue has been raised during numerous earlier meetings yet there remains no concrete plans in place to address the critical matter.

The biggest problem at Addington is that of corroded plumbing as a result of the hospital’s seaside location. This has, in turn, led to a malfunctioning of the fire sprinkler system. Despite the MEC and his Department being fully aware of this, they have not taken any measures such as extra fire hydrants or hoses to be used in the event of disaster. Nor has any reassurance been provided to the province’s Health portfolio committee or anyone else.

The DA has been advised that the poor fire compliance conditions at Addington will only be addressed after the completion of Dr Pixley Ka Isaka Sema Hospital. This is projected for late 2019/early 2020. The question the MEC must answer is – what would happen if there was a fire at Addington Hospital before then?

The DA expects MEC Dhlomo to:
• Ensure that a full audit is done of all facilities with regards to fire compliance; and to
• Put urgent measures in place at Addington Hospital, King Edward VIII and others that will ensure safety and security in the unfortunate event that there is a fire.

The recent fire in a Gauteng government-owned building and the tragic deaths of several firefighters should be a wake-up call to MEC Dhlomo.

He can no longer afford to place the lives of staff and patients at KZN hospitals at risk. Only a merciless and uncaring ANC-led government would do so.

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