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Media comment | 3 July 2018 | From AMA(SA) vice president Dr Chris Moy 


The Women’s and Children’s Health Network on 3 July reported that parts of the Women’s and Children’s Hospital experienced a temporary disruption to power supply at 12.30pm. Some areas were affected for several minutes, while other areas were intermittently affected for up to approximately 30 minutes. The disruption affected some clinical areas in the Queen Victoria and Rogerson buildings, including the Emergency Department and operating theatres.

Full power has been restored and there were no adverse patient outcomes. Two surgeries were underway during the disruption but were successfully completed  and both patients are recovering well. As a precaution, non-urgent ambulance arrivals were diverted to the Lyell McEwin Hospital and Flinders Medical Centre and some elective surgeries were postponed. The back-up generator was successfully tested last week. An investigation is now underway to determine the cause of the interruption. The AMA(SA) made the following comments in response, from AMA(SA) president Dr Chris Moy.

“Uninterrupted power supply is a non-negotiable part of a health system. Any unpredictability in supply must be addressed.”

“Hospitals deliver highly complex care and equipment failure can lead to serious patient harm. Whilst it appears there was no adverse outcome on this occasion, we expect SA Health will conduct a thorough investigation into the cause of the power failure to prevent it happening again.”

“The transfer of patients to other sites shows the importance of having a spectrum of services across our health system.”

“The incident emphasizes concerns about the lack of investment and poor state of infrastructure at the main hospital treating our precious young.”