A NORTHERN medical centre was forced to call an ambulance with an employee's mobile phone after Aurora Energy cut the centre's power due to planned electrical works on a neighbouring property.
The Port Sorell Medical Centre has criticised Aurora which ignored the centre's request to perform the works on a Sunday, and instead undertook the works last Monday.
The centre said it could not close its doors on the busiest day of its week, and instead hired a generator for several hours, for a quoted price of $3500.
Aurora Energy communications manager Richard Wilson said the Sunday request was declined due to higher weekend wage costs.
Sorell Medical Centre staff member Jeanette Thompson said she was disgusted by the attitude of Aurora towards the Centre's staff and customers.
Mrs Thompson said it was not reasonable for the centre to be closed on a Monday because it was the only medical centre in the area.
``Our doctors lost about two hours' work that day . . . we had to wait for the generator to be up and running before we could actually restart our business, and we also had to get our IT guys in to reboot our computers,'' she said.
``The worst thing that could have happened happened.
``We had an emergency patient walk in with chest pains . . . we had to use one of the guy's mobile phones to call an ambulance because the power was off.''
The power was switched off for safety reasons, relating to the installation of electrical infrastructure on a neighbouring property.
Mr Wilson said Aurora would not be paying for the cost of the generator.
``We generally only roster our field crews to work after hours and weekends in the event of emergency repairs,'' Mr Wilson said.
``There has been no precedent for Aurora to compensate the customers (in this situation).
``We appreciate that there may be limited medical facilities in this area but it is not a hospital, and we have liaised as much as we can with the medical centre, and what we have done is reasonable under the circumstances.
``Extra costs would need to be met by the rest of Aurora's customers.
``This would not be consistent with Aurora's strategy of meeting customers needs at the lowest sustainable cost.''