Service delivery at clinic worrying

2020-02-05 06:00
Residents standing in a queue in the corridor at the MUCPP Clinic in Bloemfontein on Thursday (30/01). Complaints about ongoing poor service delivery at this healthcare facility are regularly voiced. Photo: Mlungisi Louw

Residents standing in a queue in the corridor at the MUCPP Clinic in Bloemfontein on Thursday (30/01). Complaints about ongoing poor service delivery at this healthcare facility are regularly voiced. Photo: Mlungisi Louw

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The apparent inability of government to improve basic healthcare services at the MUCPP Clinic in Rocklands, Bloemfontein, is a bitter pill to swallow.

This is according to hundreds of residents of Mangaung who frequently visit this facility to receive subsidised primary healthcare services.

This 24-hour community clinic offers a range of services, which include the treatment of chronic illness, family planning, maternity care and dental services, as well as physiotherapy.

According to the residents the MUCPP Clinic is known for its service remaining unimproved.

Patients complain bitterly, having to queue from dawn until dusk with no assurance that they will get their medication. Waiting in long queues is tiring, and this is the fate of both young and old residents who go to this facility for treatment, or to collect medication.

Their frustrations result from the government seemingly not doing enough to improve service at this healthcare facility.

Unhappy residents complain about clinics being short-staffed and staff leaving them unattended, as well as of a shortage of medication and resources.

Express visited the facility on Thursday (30/01). Residents could not hide their frustration.

Mpho Leeuw (30) is one of the patients who expressed her frustration at having queued from 06:00 without receiving medical treatment within the expected time. She lamented waiting long hours before receiving treatment.

According to Masabata Mapolesa (45), nothing has changed despite them raising concerns.

“The conditions are still appalling,” she said.

Mapolesa said sometimes she left the clinic without receiving the prescribed medication for her treatment, adding that she had to solicit her employer to give her another day off to go back and get her treatment.

Mapolesa complained that this affected her financially.

“I lose money on days I ask for an off day at work and this happens every month,” she said.

Kenyadicoe Nakedi (71), said she would arrive at the clinic at 06:00, hoping to get her treatment in time and return home in time. Nakedi walks a long distance every month, with no guarantee that she will get assistance.

“I would like to see something being done about the poor conditions at the clinic,” said Nakedi, who is on treatment for hypertension.

Dikeledi Matolo (43), who had brought her two-year-old child for treatment, said at times some patients gave up and left without being assisted – when the end of the queue was outside the door of the clinic’s waiting area, which is the size of a hall. She said the staff members would leave them alone to get food without notifying them.

“The conditions are always like this at this clinic,” said Matolo.

Mondli Mvambi, spokesperson of the provincial Department of Health, has acknowledged service delivery challenges at the MUCPP Clinic.

“This facility is indeed under severe pressure from service demands by people from all walks of life who get their services there,” he said.

According to Mvambi, the clinic has 28 professional nurses and three doctors, two clinical associates and one community service doctor. He said the gross shortage of staff was due to resignation and retirements.

“However, this is currently getting attention to see how best nurses can be appointed to bolster the capacity to match the increasing demands for services.”

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