Clinic building may open

2015-05-05 06:00
Residents in the Grassy Park precinct says they want the clinic reopened due to long queues at the Klip Road Clinic which results in them not being assisted for medical attention. 

PHOTO: 
Chevon Booysen

Residents in the Grassy Park precinct says they want the clinic reopened due to long queues at the Klip Road Clinic which results in them not being assisted for medical attention. PHOTO: Chevon Booysen

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The Lotus River Clinic might be re-opened or used as an alternative space once an assessment has been done of the currently vacant building.

People’s Post previously reported that the clinic shut its doors in March last year (“Cutting off dead weight”, Thursday 14 August 2014), three years ahead of plan.

Benedicta van Minnen, City of Cape Town’s then mayoral committee member for health, said at the time the clinic “just does not have the capacity to render a service to the community any longer.

“It has been vandalised too many times and the operating costs incurred are just too much.”

Another factor which added to the premature closure of the clinic was gang violence that happened in close vicinity of the facility.

Clinical services then moved to the Klip Road Clinic which is situated just under 2km away. The relocation, including opening a satellite clinic in Pelican Park, cost the City just under R200 000.

Siyabulela Mamkeli, current mayoral committee member for health, now says the old Lotus River Clinic building will be assessed.

“Arrangements have been made for an assessment of the building to establish its structural integrity as it is an old, temporary prefabricated structure. The future of the building will be determined based on the outcome of the structural assessment and current community engagements that are underway,” Mamkeli explains.

According to Mamkeli, it would cost the City just over R100 000 to open and re-use the facility.

“The associated costs would be in the region of R115 000, excluding any physical security presence and security ‘hardening’ measures. A definite cost will depend on the structural assessment outcome,” he says.

In comparison to the 80 clients a day served currently at Klip Road Clinic, Mamkeli says the Lotus River Clinic used to serve a daily average of 72 patients a day.

Asked whether there are alternative usage options for the vacant prefabricated building, Mamkeli says: “The future of the building will be determined based on the outcome of the structural assessment and current community engagement”.

The building has been standing vacant since it closed last year but safety measures are in place, he adds.

“Security guards are stationed at the building on a 24-hour basis, seven days a week.”

However, even with security at the premises, Mamkeli says security guards at the facility have been victims of crime.

“In the most recent incident, security guards were tied up and threatened at gun-point.”

Mamkeli says these types of incidents will be taken into consideration should the facility be repaired.

“Should the facility be reopened for use security measures would have to be considered. This will include security guards stationed at the premises on a 24-hour basis, seven days a week at a monthly cost of just under R37 000. We will also have to consider securing the ceiling with wire mesh at an additional cost of R64 281,” he adds.

Mamkeli says the local neighbourhood watch will also be roped in and mentions the possible installation of alarm beams “at a cost of around R126 000”.

At a public meeting held at the Lotus River sport and recreation centre on Sunday, Mamkeli met with residents and ward councillors to discuss the future of the building.

“I definitely understand the need for the facility in this area and although I cannot commit to a date by which the facility will be opened, I want to say that if it opens by the end of this year, I would have achieved something. We need to take into consideration the needs of the community and staff at the clinic.”

V

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