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Jakarta Post

Flood waters inundate state-owned Jakarta hospital, possibly damaging medical equipment

  • Sausan Atika

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sun, February 23, 2020   /   08:14 pm
Flood waters inundate state-owned Jakarta hospital, possibly damaging medical equipment The heavy downpour that hit the capital on Sunday resulted in the flooding of state-run Cipto Mangunkusumo Hospital (RSCM), possibly damaging several pieces of valuable medical equipment. (courtesy Twitter.com/BNPB spokesperson Agus Wibowo)

The heavy downpour that hit the capital on Sunday resulted in the flooding of state-run Cipto Mangunkusumo Hospital (RSCM), possibly damaging several pieces of valuable medical equipment.

Heavy rain, beginning in the early hours of Sunday, inundated the hallway of RSCM's GH building, with the water reaching ankle-height. The water also entered the radiology and radiotherapy rooms by the hallway at around 5 a.m.

“The water receded at around 8 a.m. and the affected rooms have been cleaned up,” RSCM spokesperson Ananto told The Jakarta Post on Sunday.

Videos and pictures of the flooding posted by National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) spokesperson Agus Wibowo showed that a number of medical devices had been submerged in the flood waters.

“Equipment [affected by the] flood includes a stationary ceiling x-ray machine, a mobile x-ray machine, two CT scan machines, one ultrasound unit […] and one Siemens MRI machine,” Agus tweeted.

RSCM president director Lies Dina Liastuti said the hospital's medical facility team, the Jakarta health facility security center (BPFK) and vendors of the medical equipment were inspecting the condition of the affected machines.

She said all of the equipment had been turned off when the heavy rain began.

“We are not yet able to say whether the equipment experienced any damage because we are currently checking them all,” she told the Post, adding that the equipment would be cleaned and dried extensively before being turned on to evaluate the damage.

"Insyaallah [God willing], starting tomorrow we will turn on the machines [to check the damage]," she said, noting that an affected tomotherapy machine would need to be left to dry for about a week.

Despite the flooding, Lies guaranteed that the hospital’s health services had not been disrupted.

“RSCM remains in operation, no health services were disrupted, including in the intensive care unit and the inpatient ward,” she said.

She added that her team had been communicating with other hospitals to make arrangements for RSCM patients who needed to use the affected equipment.

"If patients need to undergo x-rays or radiation, they can use equipment at RSCM Kencana in Senen [Central Jakarta] or transfer to other hospitals. Dharmais Hospital and several others have expressed their willingness to accept [transferred patients]. We are arranging this," she said.

Lies said she suspected the flooding was caused by an overflow from the nearby Salemba area.

She added that she had communicated with Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan to ask the city administration to construct a water channel system to direct water into the Ciliwung River behind the RSCM complex to prevent similar occurrences in the future.

Health Minister Terawan and a number of ministry officials visited RSCM on Sunday afternoon. The minister urged relevant stakeholders, including the hospital team and vendors of the affected medical equipment, to quickly ensure the facilities returned to full function.

A total of 108 community units from 55 subdistricts throughout the capital were hit by floods over the weekend, with the water reaching up to 2.2 meters in Rawa Terate subdistrict in Cakung, East Jakarta.

The flood had forced 846 people from 235 families to flee their houses as of 11 a.m., Sunday, according to the Jakarta Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) spokesperson Mohammad Insyaf.

The Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) has warned of heavy rains, issuing an 'alert' status from 7 a.m., Feb. 23, until 7 a.m., Feb. 24, for Banten, Jakarta, West Java, Central Java, Yogyakarta, East Java, West Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan, East Kalimantan, South Sulawesi, and East Nusa Tenggara.