Busy health clinic in Copesville house has neighbours fed up

2012-11-27 00:00

COPESVILLE community members are up in arms over a clinic run by the Department of Health, in a house, in a residential area.

The residents, who are immediate neighbours of the clinic, have threatened legal action. The clinic in question is an ordinary suburban house, with a small yard, and residents say its presence in the area has led to deteriorating standards of living and it poses a possible health risk.

Bobby Padayachee, one of the neighbours, said they wanted the Health Department to build a proper structure to house a clinic.

He said the clinic, which has been in the area for the past 10 years, was previously used only to dispense medicine. About two months ago, patients from Mason clinic, in another part of the area, were transferred to the Copesville clinic, because an electricity cable was stolen there.

“Hundreds of people flock to this house now for treatment. It has one dirty toilet, which is supposed to be used by all the patients, and those who cannot use it, urinate anywhere,” he said.

“The queues of people coming here in the early hours cause so much ruckus, and, on more than one occasion, the nurses have failed to properly dispose of medical waste, like used needles and cotton swabs,” said Padayachee.

He said the waste was dumped in rubbish bins overnight, attracting dogs that tore up the rubbish bags. “We find used needles and cotton buds lying all over the place. Our children could play and harm themselves with the medical waste.”

Another resident, Maria Krothane, said she is now looking at suing the department. “Patients come to use my toilet and, when I tell them mine is not a public toilet, they urinate at my gate. I am contemplating legal action”.

Department spokesperson Msawenkosi Mncwabe said they inherited the clinic from the municipality and they acknowledge that it is in an undesirable condition. “We are using it for the moment, because it is the only one working in the Copesville area,” said Mncwabe.

He said they would meet with residents soon to chart a way forward.

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