Clinic opens two years after deadline

2012-08-06 19:57
Stethoscope (File, <a href="http://www.shutterstock.com">Shutterstock</a>)

Stethoscope (File, Shutterstock)

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Mbombela - A clinic that was meant to be opened in time for the 2010 Soccer World Cup was only opened this week.

The R69.8m clinic in Bell Street, Mbombela, was officially opened on Monday, but is still not fully staffed.

"We are supposed to have 20 professional nurses and at least five resident doctors here, but we have not been able to get all the necessary staff," said Health MEC Clifford Mkasi.

"But I said I will open the clinic even if it is just me there," added Mkasi, who is a qualified doctor and has previously worked at state hospitals and owned his own private practice

The clinic has 13 professional nurses and one resident doctor."

"We will fill the other posts as soon as we can,” said Mkasi.

The clinic was supposed to be completed ahead of the 2010 World Cup but was only finished in October 2010. It also cost R9.8m, or 16%, more than was originally budgeted for.

Mkasi said he is happy the clinic is finally open and that it will ensure better access to health care to people living in and around the province’s capital city.

The state of the art clinic will not be operate 24-hours a day as planned but will only be open for 12 hours from 07:00to 19:00.

"As soon as we have appointed the necessary staff and the demand is there, the clinic will be opened for 24 hours a day,” said Mkasi.

The clinic will be able to help with primary health care, X-rays, the delivery of babies, dissemination of medication and emergencies.

"It will help relieve the pressure on Rob Ferreira Hospital a few kilometers from here and the specialists there won' t be as overworked,” said Mkasi.

The total number of outpatients at Rob Ferreira Tertiary Hospital has increased from 90 077 in 2008/09 to 96 830 in 2010/2011.

Before the clinic was opened on Monday, primary healthcare was available at Rob Ferreira and only three clinics in the city.

The clinic at the civic centre is open from Monday to Friday while the Nelsville and Valencia clinics are only open certain days of the week.

The provincial government spent over R1m on security whilst the clinic was standing empty after completion.

Health spokesperson Dumisani Mlangeni previously admitted to African Eye News Service that the department spends R50 000 a month on security at the clinic.

Over 20 months have passed since it was completed pushing the security bill past R1.05m.

Democratic Alliance MPL James Masangu said he will congratulate Mkasi personally for finally opening the clinic after it has been standing empty.

"I'm glad that at least now our people can have better access to health services," he said.

Read more on:    mbombela  |  health
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