Clinic changes boost service

2016-06-07 06:00

Retreat Community Health Centre (CHC) has officially taken over the Retreat Clinic, formerly run by the City of Cape Town, to bring better services to that community from Wednesday 1 June.

However, this doesn’t mean that the City clinic, situated next to Retreat CHC, will be closing. The clinic will look after child health solely, while the other services will be provided bythe CHC.

The decision to consolidate the services was made between the provincial department for health and the City. A more holistic and integrated health-care package will now be offered in line with the provincial department’s Health-care 2030 plan for a better patient-centred approach and quality of care.

Services at the clinic, now named the Retreat Baby Clinic, will continue to operate from 07:30 to 16:00 on weekdays.

The CHC facility, which treats approximately 17 500 patients monthly, will now provide health-care to an additional 1500 patients who access the baby clinic.

Sister Charmaine Adams says they are optimistic about the new venture.

“We are doing this to improve service and make it even better for the people we serve. This is a trial and error process and we will take it as we go. We hope the community will see what we really want to do and help us. We have put up notices and done awareness campaigns to let everyone know of the changes. We will have staff at the gates as well to direct people to the right place,” she says.

The HIV/Aids and TB services have been shifted away from the City building, due to infrastructure and infection control challenges, and will now operate from Retreat CHC.

Previously the provincial facility tested clients for TB via sputum tests and referred positive tested patients to another health institution for treatment and further healthcare. Now, due to the amalgamation of services, both testing and treatment will be administered the CHC.

The staff at Retreat CHC will run awareness drives on TB in order to alleviate any misconception people might have about the illness.

Monique Johnstone, communications officer for the health department says people must not be afraid of change.

“We are trying to make things better and easier. These facilities were close to each other, so it makes more sense to work together. We are also urging patients to put on masks. There is nothing to be afraid of, but we don’t want people to spread germs on each other. It can be a cold or anything, so if you have a mask on, you’re protecting someone next to you. We are also urging the community to let us know how they feel about the change. Talk to the management if there is something that you’re not happy with. We are open for complaints and compliments as that will help us improve the services we render,” she says.

Services offered at the old Retreat Clinic (now the baby clinic) include immunisation, IMCI and curative interventions for under 5-year-olds, women’s health and family planning.

Services offered at the Retreat Community Health Centre include TB and ARV services, MOU, trauma, mental health, treatment for chronic disease of lifestyle diseases; access to a social worker, and X-ray services.

V Contact the Retreat Community Health Centre on 021 713 9800.

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