Surgeries have to wait as Hanoi water pipeline rupture leaves hospitals high and dry

By Thanh Nien Staff, TN News

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People pull water collected from the back-up tank of a hospital in Hanoi to store in their rooms as all tap water has run out. Photo: Dung Minh People pull water collected from the back-up tank of a hospital in Hanoi to store in their rooms as all tap water has run out. Photo: Dung Minh

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Hospitals in Hanoi are having to delay non-emergency surgeries after the capital’s main water pipe broke again last weekend, creating a massive water shortage.
Hanoi Ob-gyn Hospital now only performs urgent surgeries and has been delaying C-sections, for instance.
Its back-up supply has also run dry and the hospital began to buy water Tuesday, but it could not buy enough to meet normal demand for its more than 1,000 employees and 300 patients.
The rupture on Saturday was the 16th at the Song Da Water Pipeline since 2012, putting thousands of families in the capital city in a dire situation.
Doctors said the misery caused by the water shortage is much worse at hospitals since it affects hygiene and poses a threat to lives.
There are hundreds of miseries caused by staying at a hospital, and now water" - a mother taking care of her son at a general public hospital in Hanoi
A woman taking care of her daughter who recently delivered a baby at the ob-gyn hospital said she has not had a shower for a week.
She buys bottled water and saves it for cleaning her daughter and the baby.
At the city’s leading cancer hospital, K, the bathrooms only have water for around two hours a day. People have to line up and bring bottles to store water in their rooms.
This woman is scheduled for a C-section at the Hanoi Ob-gyn Hospital, but she has to wait as there is no water following a rupture in the city’s main pipeline. Photo: Dung Minh
Women in their 50s and 60s at the general public hospital 198 said they have been carrying water upstairs from the hospital tank in the ground floor every day, but there is only enough to flush toilets, not for a shower.
“There are hundreds of miseries caused by staying at a hospital, and now water,” a 61-year-old woman whose son recently had surgery at the hospital, said.
Water supply companies said the pipe rupture lasted 25 hours and the repair would take three days, meaning the supply would return to normal from Thursday.
The $70-million Song Da pipe system running 45.8 kilometers through downtown was installed in 2009.
Investigators from the Ministry of Public Security in May arrested two directors of state-owned builder Vinconex for the constant ruptures after an investigation suggested that the pipes are of poor quality and cannot sustain the water pressure.
Officials from the city construction department said a new pipeline would be laid starting this month to avert similar crises in future.

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