by Harold McGluwa – DA Northern Cape Provincial Chairperson &Chief Whip of the Provincial Caucus
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Date: 06 July 2018
The neglect of Straussburg residents by the Department of Health is set to get worse, after the Congregational Church, which had donated its old church building for use as a makeshift clinic, has threatened to close it citing lack of support from the Department.
The church is accusing the Department of not providing adequate support by way of financial assistance, upgrades or maintenance work.
We are calling on the MEC for Health, Fufe Makatong, to urgently intervene to stop the closure of this temporary health facility while a permanent solution is sought for the Straussburg community.
An oversight inspection by the DA to the ‘church-clinic’ this week, revealed the shocking state of the facility. There is no running water, electricity and ablution facilities. Sick people have to utilise a spot behind the church, as a toilet.
The resident nurse lacks adequate operational equipment in a “clinic” which is only furnished with a bed and a chair. With a consulting room that looks more like a storeroom, sick people are also forced to queue outside in the cold while waiting to see the nurse, who only “sets up” clinic twice a week.
To make matters worse, the elderly and sick people have to walk over the dangerous main road to access the clinic.
The deplorable state of affairs at the makeshift clinic are such that it has become a menace to both nurses and patients alike.
It makes no sense for the Department to expect quality healthcare in Straussburg when the ‘clinic’ is unable to dispense critical medicine to patients due to the absence of fridges or lock cupboards to store medicines and other medical supplies.
It is despicable that the department has made no attempt to improve the quality of health services to the approximately 800 residents in Straussburg. All the department gives, is empty promises. It previously committed to facilitating a mobile clinic service in the area but this never materialised.
The DA calls on Makatong to facilitate an urgent intervention. If she fails to do so, the residents of Straussburg will be left with no choice other than to walk the 20 kilometres to the closest clinic in Leerkrans.
It is tragic that the ANC continues to ignore the plight of our most vulnerable, this is clearly a case of out of sight.
Only a DA-led government can being change that will ensure healthcare is prioritised in all corners of the province, to all people.
DA Northern Cape Provincial Chairperson &Chief Whip of the Provincial Caucus
082 440 1779
079 2260 991