News agency, Cape Town, South Africa
Thursday September 19th 2019

Du Noon residents say they don’t want a new clinic

Du Noon residents say they would rather the money was spent on fixing up the existing sub-standard clinic in the township.

The R1 million revamping of a warehouse in Montague Gardens to serve as a temporary clinic for the population of Du Noon is being rejected by residents, who say they would rather the money was spent on fixing up the existing sub-standard clinic in the township.

This is despite renovations being nearly complete and set to open its doors on July 1.

The existing clinic, established almost 20 years ago, operates out of structure previously used as a storage facility during the construction of RDP houses in the township.

Problems with the existing clinic came under the spotlight in January this year when a nurse fainted due to the heat exacerbated by poor ventilation in the building.

She collapsed in front of waiting patients prompting the Du Noon health committee to protest over conditions at the clinic, resulting in it being shut down for four days, with services transferred to Table View clinic and Albow Gardens clinic in Milnerton.

However, residents questioned the decision taken by the then health committee to shut it down and negotiations resulted in the clinic reopening with services restricted to children and chronically ill patients only.

The health committee, which came to an agreement with the provincial authorities to transform a Montague Gardens warehouse into a new clinic, was later disbanded by residents, with a new 15 member committee elected in April.

But the new committee is objecting to the previous agreements regarding the warehouse, with new health committee chair Sinxoshe Jali saying the majority of residents were not consulted on the decision.

Jali said residents were angry when they heard about the warehouse renovations and have demanded the existing clinic be revamped while they wait for the construction of the new Du Noon Community Health Centre which is set to be operational in 2014.

“Our clinic must be revamped. There is big space to extend the existing structure to provide more space for doctors and nurses. We were not consulted on the renovations of the warehouse,” said Jali.

ANC Du Noon Ward Councillor Lubabalo Makeleni said the community wanted the existing clinic to be upgraded.

“We don’t see a reason why people should be moved from one temporary structure to another,” said Makeleni.

Health MEC Theuns Botha said yesterday the province and the city had “pulled out all the stops” to deliver an improved health care service to the people of Du Noon.

“We acknowledged that the facility there was not up to standard and joined forces to create an interim solution by transporting select patients to nearby clinics. Then we negotiated a medium term solution, renting the warehouse in Montague Gardens to be converted into a clinic which will be ready at the end of July,” said Botha.

In addition, Botha said a mobile unit has been placed at the Table View clinic to assist with the patient load from Du Noon.

He added that construction of the new R76m Du Noon Community Health Centre would commence in September 2012 and it would be owned and operated by the province.

“Throughout the process there has been a public participation process and available structures to raise concerns, and the concerns were addressed. I urge the people of Du Noon who use our services take responsibility for their own health and health services and make use of the available opportunities,” he said. –Peter Luhanga

Tags: Community Health Centres, department of health, Du Noon, Lubabalo Makeleni, Sinxoshe Jali, Table View clinic, Theuns Botha

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