Patients left using fans as air con dies in hospital bay
SOME patients at Bundaberg Hospital are relying on portable fans to keep cool as the region faces temperatures up to 32 degrees.
A bay in the surgical ward has been experiencing air conditioner malfunctions for at least two days, and reports say a combination of people who have just come out of surgery are being given bed-side fans as a short-term solution.
A concerned woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, said she was shocked to find her husband was placed in a ward without air conditioning during such extreme weather conditions.
"It was stifling when we walked in, it was the first thing we noticed, just how stifling hot it was," she said.
"It's supposed to be an air conditioned hospital isn't it, really.
"I asked one of the nurses 'what's the go with the air conditioning?' and they couldn't answer me.
"We were shocked, I don't know what they've done about it."
She said she knew the hospital staff were trying to help patients, but the issue needed to be rectified immediately.
"There's a lot of elderly people in there, that's just horrible being in a ward like that," she said.
"I know (staff are) trying to do their best ... But it stands that there's no air conditioning and I don't think that's good enough."
A Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service spokesman confirmed the issue, but couldn't say when the system would be working again.
"Regrettably, the issue with the air conditioning is complicated and is not simple to fix, but our Building, Engineering and Maintenance team are currently working on a long-term solution," the spokesperson said.
They said hospital staff were working with the patients to make their stay as comfortable as possible.
"There are no clinical concerns about patients who are located in this environment and we are regularly communicating with them as we work to provide the best care possible," they said.
The woman said the heat of the rooms in the afternoon was alarming, and pressure need to be placed on the hospital to ensure the problem was fixed swiftly.
"Once it's broken, they need to fix it straight away, they can't have people sitting in there like that," she said.
"I don't like the thought of my husband being in the heat when he's ill, but it's not just about my husband, it's about every patient that's in that ward.
"The elderly around him are very sick, and I hate seeing them like that."
Bundaberg is set to reach maximum temperatures of 32 degrees today and will continue until Wednesday, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.