Korle Bu Suspends Surgeries As ECG Cuts Power To The Hospital

The Korle Bu Teaching Hospital has been forced to suspend surgical operations. This is because the utility provider, ECG has cut power supply to the country’s premier hospital since Monday. The only generator it had been running on, went off Wednesday morning leaving patients and their relatives stranded and frustrated. For instance, dialysis patients at the Cardiothoracic Centre are said to have left in disappointment to seek care elsewhere because they could not be attended to. Factories and homes in the country have been enduring incessant and excruciating power outages for several months. The situation has been getting worse by the day, compelling the Electricity Company of Ghana to frequently reschedule their load shedding timetable. Some power consumers have attributed the causes of the worsening energy problems of the country to incompetence, insensitivity and lack of accountability. The Korle Bu Teaching Hospital is supposed to enjoy some preferential treatment, but as at Wednesday afternoon, Joy News’ Fred Smith reported that power had not been restored to the hospital. The emergency and accident unit and the Cardiothoracic Centre are some of the units affected by the power outage. “The surgical unit has cancelled all surgeries due to the erratic nature of power supply,” Fred he reported. Even some pharmacies are not dispensing drugs because they do not have the power to access their systems. It is mandatory that they go through the system before dispensing drugs. Meanwhile, consumers would have to endure longer hours without a power because the Volta River Authority, which is the power generator says the crisis is far from over. Head of VRA Corporate Communications, Samuel Fletcher told Joy News’ Francis Abban that the VRA is battling with “technical challenges” and it is “trying to fix them”. The power outages are mainly due to “a combination of factors” including ongoing maintenance and unreliable gas supply from Nigeria, he explained. Asked why the gas supply was unreliable, he retorted, “that is a question you need to put it to the Nigerians, but that is what is happening.” “We are in a crisis, we have been in a crisis for some time now,” Mr. Fletcher admitted. The Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) recently announced more than 6 percent increase in electricity tariffs. Consumers are therefore questioning the basis for the increase in the face of the worsening power crisis. The PURC’s Director of Public Affairs, Nana Yaa Jantuah told Joy News’ Francisca Kakra Forson that the PURC is aware of the erratic power supply. She indicated that the situation was out of the control of the service providers. It is “not a deliberate attempt not to give power”, she said, but added that the regulator will monitor the situation to understand what is exactly going on.