The national referral health centre, Princess Marina Hospital, was forced to transfer patients in need of emergency operations to private facilities as the water crisis deepened over the weekend.
Authorities at the facilities admitted to encountering complete water supply outages over the weekend.
However, by the time of going to press it was unclear how many patients had been referred, as well as the cost of their procedures, as officials were still looking for the figures. Last week, the hospital announced that patients would be transferred to other facilities if the water scarcity situation intensified.
Marina chief communication officer Donnel Kutlapye said if the water problems persist, the hospital will be left with no option but to transfer patients to other facilities.
“Even over the weekend some patients who needed emergency operations were sent to private facilities in Gaborone. Our patients’ health comes first,” he said.
Reports were amass over the weekend that some patients were discharged before due dates, they skipped meals as the kitchen failed to prepare food and relatives had to bring blankets as the laundry was not functional.
“The situation has gotten out of hand and now some patients are being discharged before they are completely healed and worse still, we are forced to bring blankets for our relatives as we are told the laundry department has no water to clean blankets anymore,” said a source who preferred anonymity.
Kutlapye however said they have not discharged any patient who was not ready.
He added that the hospital has never at any point advised patients nor their relatives to bring blankets to the hospital.
“They have been doing that even before the water crisis. However, we continue to educate our patients about the infection control issue. We remind them that there might be cross infection as a result of bringing blankets to the hospital,” he said.
Kutlapye also said that patients were provided with all the meals although on some days, they were provided a bit late.
“The patients had all their three meals daily over the weekend. Some relatives found it necessary to buy their patients food while waiting for the hospital to provide meals,” he said.
Kutlapye said by yesterday afternoon, the institution had had sufficient water supply since early Monday morning.
“The hospital has procured bottled water for drinking when there is outage, as well as ‘Jojo’ tanks, which are now connected to the boiler and laundry since they use a lot of water,” he added.