Faulty power generator disrupts surgical operation

National, Normal

The National, Friday 18th November 2011

A life-saving surgical operation at Kundiawa General Hospital this week was thrown into chaos when the generator supplying electricity blew up.
Surgeons and their assistants could do little but run out of the darkened room to look for the best alternative to restore electricity supply in the shortest possible time.
Kundiawa General Hospital acting chief executive officer Mathew Kaluvia expressed concern, saying hospitals performed life-saving operations that required power supply 24 hours a days.
He blamed PNG Power Ltd for the consistent power surges that prompted them to use their 18-year-old 400- kva generator, which was the only source of electricity until it blew up on Tuesday.
“The generator was overheated and had its head gasket burnt, the engine head and piston rings blew up because of constant use and overheating,” Kaluvia said.
Kaluvia said they scaled down operations at the hospital for all elective cases and would only attend to emergencies and make referrals.
He said the management had been successful in securing a 30kva generator as an alternative “instead of making referrals after referrals”.
“Saving lives is far more important; we went into the exercise of spending more money to ensure electricity continues to flow into emergency sections,” he said.
Other hospitals in the Highlands provinces have scaled down operations after heavily relying on their stand-by generators for the past three weeks.