Hospital Association Executive President Jaime Plá Cortés said bedridden patients are at risk
Hospital Association Executive President Jaime Plá Cortés said the recent power blackouts have created an “unsustainable situation” that jeopardizes bedridden patients that require ventilators and other electrical equipment.
Plá Cortés said the electrical outages add to communication difficulties that hospitals are currently facing with Luma Energy, the private operator that took control of Puerto Rico’s transmission and distribution system last June 1. The deal counted with the full support of the Financial Oversight and Management Board (FOMB), a congressionally mandated office that oversees the Commonwealth’s public finances.
“The situation that creates the state of (the power efficiency of the utility) in the health (industry) is enormous: the constant blackouts for prolonged periods, the inability of the communication process with Luma to find solutions, and to know when the situation will be resolved. The two most critical areas are our bedridden patients, who depend on electricity to survice, and our hospitals and health facilities, which treat patients constantly, ”Plá Cortés said.
While urging the government to handle the emergency, he said the energy shortages damage expensive equipment, increase the cost of providing services, and put people’s lives at risk.
Luma has been scrambling to restore and stabilize the service after an explosion in the substation of Monacillos disrupted the service for 900,000 clients in Puerto Rico. Subsequently, the company has been dealing with constant blackouts after other problems it faced in stations in Guayanilla, Mayaguez, and San Juan, leaving more than 330,000 customers without electricity.