Extensive water preservation efforts and preparations to protect patients in the event of ‘Day Zero’ are ongoing at Netcare Greenacres Hospital. In addition to considerable investment and innovation, the management of Netcare Greenacres Hospital has had to implement strict water conservation measures due to the severe water crisis in the Nelson Mandela Bay area, and kindly requests patients’ understanding at this time.
“We have been monitoring the water situation carefully in recent weeks and have prepared with increasing urgency over several years for a situation such as we are currently facing. Due to the lack of rain and the ensuing escalation of the water crisis we have had to put the necessary controls in place to alleviate pressure on our water reserves at the hospital,” says Andre Bothma, general manager at Netcare Greenacres Hospital.
“This is an incredibly challenging time for our city and we ask that our patients please bear with us as we do our level best to conserve water. At this stage, this includes the use of wipes for personal hygiene instead of showers and baths, the limiting of wash basins in all public bathrooms and encouraging the use of hand sanitiser instead of washing hands with soap and water when not essential. We have also moved to the use of disposable crockery and cutlery to avoid the use of water for washing up.
“Furthermore, in order to ensure the continued operation of laundry services, which have previously been outsourced, an onsite water efficient laundry is being established at the hospital so that the daily provision of clean linen will not be interrupted.
“We are doing everything within our power to curtail any discomfort and inconvenience that the water crisis may cause as well as having implemented strict hygiene controls to ensure the health and safety of all patients and staff throughout this period,” he says.
Bothma notes that careful use of precious resources such as water has long formed an important part of the sustainability strategy within Netcare, with a strong emphasis placed on environmental best practices over key focus areas including water usage as well as energy and fuel consumption, emissions, and general and healthcare waste.
“While operational efficiencies such as this were put in place many years ago to reduce the water consumption to the absolute minimum, we also took heed of the lessons we learnt from the devastating Western Cape drought of 2018 and proactively implemented water security measures. These included the drilling of an additional borehole in 2020 to increase the yield of the existing borehole, which was drilled in 2018 and the implementation of a Reverse Osmosis water filtration plant to mitigate the risks associated with having no or intermittent water in a healthcare setting, in a safe and sustainable manner.
“The new plant has been operational since the beginning of 2021, and we have recently increased daily production of the plant in anticipation of a “Day Zero” scenario, in order to ensure the ongoing provision of healthcare and safety of patients, whilst continuing to use water as sparingly as possible.
“Such practices are in place within the Group precisely because of the effects of climate change and the scarcity of certain resources that we face in South Africa, such as water. Nevertheless, despite our best efforts, the ongoing drought has necessitated additional conservation measures at Netcare Greenacres Hospital for the time being.
“We wish to take this opportunity to thank our patients for their understanding and cooperation as we all work together to get through this critical time for our city and province. We continue to serve our community with unwavering commitment and as always, with the best interests of our patients very much at heart,” concludes Bothma.
Notes to editor
Looking for a medical appointment? Netcare appointmed™ will make appointments for YOU with specialists practising at Netcare hospitals, GPs and dentists at Medicross medical and dental centres, and specialists at Akeso mental health facilities. Simply request an appointment online at www.netcare.co.za/Request-a-medical-appointment or phone Netcare appointmed™ on 0860 555 565, Mondays to Fridays between 08:00 and 17:00.
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For more information on this media release, contact MNA at the contact details listed below.
Issued by: MNA on behalf of Netcare Greenacres Hospital
Contact: Martina Nicholson, Meggan Saville, Estene Lotriet-Vorster or
Telephone: (011) 469 3016
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