Long waiting hours and shortage of staff were two of the challenges identified by a delegation comprising members of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) during site visits to two clinics in Zoar near Oudtshoorn.
The delegation, led by the NCOP Chief Whip Dr Hunadi Mateme, visited two clinics to determine whether these were in a healthy state to effectively provide services for the large community in the area – with both clinics serving an estimated total of 2 000 people a month.
Both the Amelienstein Clinic and the Zoar Clinic are managed by Ms Christina van Rensburg, who briefed the NCOP delegation of the state of the two facilities that are just a donkey’s ride away from each other.
Ms Van Rensburg disclosed that the average waiting time at Amelienstein Clinic is between 25 and 30 minutes, while there is only one staff nurse and one sister at the clinic.
She said the waiting time gets worse when other staff members go on leave. The members of the community also have to make an appointment for consultation with the doctor, for which Ms Van Rensburg said the average waiting time is two days.
Members of the delegation, which also comprised members of the various provincial legislatures who conducted the visit as part of the Taking Parliament to the People programme, also noted that there was a centralised pharmacy system at both clinics.
Dr Mateme said: “The health system around here indicates that they don’t have enough pharmacists. We don’t have a reason in 2015 not to have enough pharmacists to do the work on-site. We can’t justify that,” she said.
The explanation provided was that the centralised system is a medication dispensation unit for only chronic medication.
Ms Van Rensburg further said that the clinic has feedback mechanisms to provide community members with a platform to voice out their views on the service levels.
“We have compliments and complaints boxes in each of the two clinics. We check the boxes daily and when we pick up any issues, they have to be resolved within 25 days.”
At the end of every month, the clinic’s management team reviews all the complaints and follows up on outstanding issues raised, with those that cannot be resolved at their level being escalated further.
The delegation also visited Alabama Cregraveche, which has 75 children from age one to four. While the major challenge at the cregraveche was lack of space, the clinic was set to embark on an expansion project though the principal, Ms Annette Hess, said they do not have sufficient funds for this process.
Source : Parliament of South Africa