Constant power blackouts resulting in damage to vital and expensive medical equipment and other electrical appliances at Mt Hagen Hospital should now be a thing of the past.
The Western Highlands Provincial Health Authority (WHPHA) after continuously spending significant funds to have equipment repaired has decided this situation should not continue any more.
It has purchased and installed a new 500KVA power voltage stabiliser at the hospital, aimed at putting an end to the incidences of equipment breakdowns and protect them from further damage.
The power voltage stabiliser has been supplied and installed by a local electrical contractor, Masip Electrical and went into operation on Monday, 13th May 2019 following its commissioning by the Chief Executive Officer of the WHPHA, Mr David Vorst.
The stabiliser which was purchased at a discounted price of over K100,000 is the first to be installed in any hospital in the Highlands and according to the supplier, it is quite reliable as it was operating well at some major airport terminals in the country where it has been installed.
The machine helps to reduce incoming power supply when it goes beyond the normal supply of 240 volts and increases the voltage when it drops so that the power supply is constant at all times during power blackouts when standby generators come on automatically.
The stabiliser although expensive will save the WHPHA a lot of money in repair costs, especially for equipment control boards which cost in excess of K50,000 every time they are damaged during blackouts.
Mr Vorst said the purchase and installation of such a machine was in the Mt Hagen Hospital Redevelopment Plan but it had to be bought early because of the constant power blackouts and the excessive repair costs of expensive medical equipment.
“My experience in the Solomons taught me to do something like this and is in the plan for the redevelopment but we need it now to protect our equipment for patient care which must continue to function.
“We spend roughly K50,000 to repair control boards every time they break down which is expensive. As we buy more expensive equipment, we need this to safeguard them so thank you all for a great effort”, he told the Masip and WHPHA electrical engineering team which installed the machine.
“We spend hundreds of thousands of kina to repair medical equipment every year and this machine will help us save this money”.
Mr Vorst said once the stabiliser functions normally, there will be less or no breakdown of equipment and the clinicians will continue to work without realising that something has happened.