Government in talks to exempt critical hospitals from load shedding
Health minister Joe Phaahla is expected to outline a comprehensive report this week on the impact of load shedding and measures to be taken by health facilities as the country moves to higher stages of power cuts.
This comes after the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) called on hospitals and clinics to be exempted from the load shedding schedules.
“Minister of Health, Dr Joe Phaahla has been concerned for some time with this matter of load shedding with the hope that it improves, but it has gotten worse to higher levels of 5 and 6 as it impacts on the provision of healthcare services across the country,” the health department said.
Phaala has since ordered the Director-General, working with provincial heads of the department, to finalise the assessment of an impact study done in the past week.
In the meantime, the department said the minister is engaging with the relevant authorities and entities, including Public Enterprises Minister, Eskom and municipalities, about the processes to be followed to exempt health facilities from load shedding.
The department said it has been working on alternative sources of power over and above the generators, as the generators are not meant for prolonged outages.
The minister is seeking an additional supply of power to be considered for installation in the health facilities to complement the generators as part of the energy mix, it said.
Phaahla is expected to hold a media briefing on Friday, 30 September 2022, outlining further interventions.