Health of disabled patients in focus

2015-11-24 06:00

The Western Cape health department acknowledges that people with disabilities are entitled to a full spectrum of human rights, inclusive of healthcare, without discrimination.

This is essential in order for persons with disabilities to integrate into mainstream society and live a fulfilled and successful life.

The Western Cape Rehabilitation Centre (WCRC), now in operation for 10 years, provides specialised, multidisciplinary rehabilitation and community reintegration programmes for persons with physical disabilities.

The focus is outcome-based and the promotion of functional independence. The facility has a maximum capacity of 156 beds, and daily specialised outpatient clinics for referred patients.

During the last financial year, the WCRC admitted 755 patients and attended to 9 880 patients at its specialised outpatient clinics of the facility.

Rehabilitation programmes focus on reducing activity limitations and participation restrictions for individuals who have a permanent disability as a result of adverse health events such as a stroke or head injury, spinal cord afflictions resulting in paraplegia or quadriplegia and amputations (called post amputation rehabilitation).

(Read one patient’s story on page 3.)

“People with disabilities encounter a range of physical, social and opinionated barriers, which prevent them from accessing the same rights as non-disabled people. The WCRC focuses on rehabilitation, ensuring clients are able to overcome these barriers,” says Jenny Hendry, CEO of WCRC.

“The facility’s rehabilitation programme includes physical, educational and training-related methods. This specialised offering is essential to empower people with disabilities to maximise independence and provide them with the ability to contribute to society, not simply to achieve physical or mental health.”

In commemoration of Disability Month and in alignment with the provincial health department’s long-term strategy, WCRC focuses on improving the patient experience and providing integrated health care and rehabilitation services.

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