The Gauteng Provincial Department of Health is intensifying its campaign to ensure the safety of patients and health facilities in Alexandra.
The exercise is conducted by ward-based outreach teams on their Friday jaunts into the community to engage residents on health-related matters. Spokesperson Sandile Gwayi said the campaign is in the interest of residents following a spate of crimes at the facilities including the brutal killing of a patient at the Alex Healthcare Centre (Masakane) by a mob and an earlier robbery and theft of computers also at the centre.
This he said paralyses service provision to the residents and affects staff morale. “The facilities are for the community in partnership with the department which provides the personnel, medicines and services. “Residents should use their knowledge of their internal dynamics to curb crime which affects them when computers with their own records are stolen and mobs invade and kill at important public facilities.”
He said they also found out that some of the disruptions were caused by outsiders who preferred local facilities for their quality and reliable services. “Others come for ulterior motives which residents should prevent through vigilance and orderliness when attending the facilities.”
He further encouraged the residents to go to clinics nearer to their homes to avoid congestions. “All clinics provide the same services except for the centre which is a referral facility open 24/7. “Crowding at a preferred clinic hours before it opens results in unnecessary queues, stress and tension which is passed on to innocent staff who have to first arrange daily roasters, retrieve files and prioritise urgent cases first.”
He urged those on chronic treatment to avoid the queues by using the telemedicine ATMs at Alex Plaza which are open day and night.
Gwayi admitted to staff shortage as a contributing challenge saying the department was in the process of training and recruiting personnel to ensure full compliments at the facilities. “It’s a national challenge including the provision of some essential equipment – please be patient.”
The centre manager Sister Ellen Masupa urged the residents to engage the teams she said also provide instant advice on various health and social matters. “We have noted that some children miss out on immunisation, others do not attend school and don’t have birth certificates.”
Details: Sandile Gwayi 082 926 0161