Question NW522 to the Minister of Health:
17 March 2023 - NW522
Hlengwa, Ms MD to ask the Minister of Health:
In view of the Republic being a water scarce country leading to water restrictions and supply being imposed on hospitals and clinics around the Republic, creating an unhygienic environment contrary to requirements of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, Act 85 of 1993, and thereby contributing to the spread of infectious diseases, what (a) steps has his department taken to ensure that healthcare facilities have adequate risk assessment plans for water shortages and (b) plans does his department have to mitigate the devastating effects of water cuts at healthcare facilities?
(a)-(b) At Primary Health Care level, the department has an Ideal Health Facility tool that is used to determine the number of health facilities that have functional piped water and the number of health facilities that have emergency water supply.
Each health facility is required to have both functional piped water and emergency water supply kept in water tanks connected to the water reticulation system in the health facility. There is also further arrangement with municipalities that in case of the emergency water tankers running empty during drought seasons, the municipality brings water by means of water tanker trucks to fill up emergency water tanks at the health facility.