An independent report completed at Halifax’s Victoria General Hospital has found that deteriorating infrastructure, leaks, dirty water and crowding are affecting patient care at the facility.

A team of independent auditors toured Capital Health facilities in the fall. The health district was accredited for three years, but was told that aging infrastructure is putting patient care at risk.

“We have challenges with some of our infrastructure,” says Shauna McMahon of Capital Health Technology and Infrastructure Renewal.

“We’ve had areas where the heat in the summer is so high and we don’t have air conditioning units in those areas and to plug fans in, it creates a power surge.”

The Albert family has been visiting a patient at the VG since Sunday. They say conditions are a problem, but care isn’t.

“There are minor structural items, like the elevator when you press down, it goes up instead,” says Roland Albert.

Visitors and patients are also being advised not to drink water from the taps.

A plan is in the works to build new hospital facilities in Halifax and Dartmouth, but it’s a five to ten-year plan.

In the meantime, Capital Health will have to balance patient care and aging infrastructure. The provincial government must also sign off on a feasibility study before the health district can move forward.

“There will be an announcement soon about the fifth floor of the Dartmouth General, which is a first step in looking after the Centennial Building,” says New Scotia Health Minister Leo Glavine.

“These are projects that must work in parallel to one another.”

Another concern raised by the accreditation team is that when something breaks or leaks and patients need to be moved, there isn’t an adequate contingency plan in place.

“We are working with our emergency preparedness group and saying we need to ramp up that plan,” says McMahon.

With files from CTV Atlantic's Kelland Sundahl