Power failure sows chaos in central hospitals

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Numerous outpatients were turned away and health equipment shut down at several hospitals and clinics in the central city of Da Nang due to a power outage last Tuesday.

 

Following the Danang Electricity Company's announcement of a blackout scheduled from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. for maintenance work at a major transformer station, some departments at the Danang General Hospital on the same day announced they would only admit patients in critical condition.

 

All equipments with high voltage use, except for one, were closed, because the hospital has only two generators a new one with capacity of 500 kVA and an old one, said Nguyen Van Duc, deputy head of Danang Hospital's equipment and materials department.

 

Patients admitted to the health ministry's Da Nang C Hospital in need of surgery were carried to the operation room on the third floor via the stairs.

 

Le Van Tu, in charge of equipment and materials at this hospital, said they had only one generator with capacity of 20 kVA fully functioning, because the other is too old to function for more than a few hours.

 

As most of lights and fans were switched off, many patients chose to rest in the hospital corridors.

 

Clinics like Vinh Toan and Binh Dan were also in the same situation and had to postpone many surgeries

 

Vu Thi Tu Hang, director general of the Binh Dan Hospital, said the power cuts also increased the hospital's power expenses, from some VND800,000 (US$42.18) a day to over VND7 million for running generators.

 

She expressed concern over the electricity company's plan to cut power this Sunday and next Wednesday as well.

 

Hoang Dang Nam, representative of the Da Nang Electricity Company, said they had to cut power mainly because Danang was facing a dearth of power given soaring demand caused by hot weather.

 

According to the company, the city needs 4.2 million kWh a day and to  guarantee power supply for the whole grid, it had to cut some 500,000 kWh per day.

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