Day hospital open – for now

2019-10-08 06:00
PHOTO: Pixabay

PHOTO: Pixabay

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Basic health services resumed yesterday (Monday 7 October) at Hout Bay Community Day Centre (CDC).

The Western Cape health department has reinstated some of the services at the CDC after reports last week that it would be closed permanently.

However, Natalie Watlington, spokesperson for the department of health (DOH), said this arrangement was part of the provisional services plan for Hangberg and Imizamo Yethu residents and that these interim health services would be short-term until a temporary Hout Bay CDC site and venue was finalised.

The HOD’s announcement follows a public meeting at the Hangberg Sports Centre held on Thursday 3 October.

Chief director of metro health Dr Gio Perez, together with other senior officials from DOH, attended the meeting to present the department’s provisional services plan following the CDC’s closure.

At the meeting, community members condemned the permanent closure of the CDC “as it’s a violation of their human rights to health and threatens the right to privacy, dignity and life”. The community rejected the provisional services plan presented.

A resolution was made that the community would give DOH until Monday 7 October to ensure the day hospital was open and fully operational, failing which the community would obtain a court order to compel the department to open the day hospital.

Roscoe Jacobs, a community activist, said he had visited the day hospital on Monday.

“I can confirm it is open. However, we want the facility to be fully operational. We have been clear on our resolution. If it is not met, we will meet with our legal counsel and see how we can take things forward.”

Basic services offered at the CDC include the collection of chronic medication for known and stable patients, screening for TB and HIV, checking of blood pressure and sugar, triaging and basic wound dressings.

The CDC was closed on Tuesday 17 September after protest action broke out in the Hangberg area (“Community mulls way forward”, People’s Post, 24 September). Unrest, which continued in the area throughout the week, quieted down on Saturday 21 September but the CDC remained closed until yesterday.

According to Jacobs, the community’s malcontent was linked to the City of Cape Town’s alleged failure to deliver on housing commitments set out in the Hangberg peace Accord (2010). The community is currently pursuing the matter through the courts.

A DOH statement released on Thursday 3 October ascribed the closure of the day hospital to protests in the area.

“Staff and patients have experienced growing anxiety around personal safety at their workplace when caught in the cross-fire of increasing unpredictability and escalation in conflict intensity over housing and other community issues,” said Watlington.

Jacobs said claims that access to the area in Hangberg where the day hospital is situated was restricted and that the clinic staff was under threat during the most recent protests were fabrications.

  • Daily Chronic Dispensing Unit (CDU) – known chronic patients may collect Patient Medicine Parcels (PMPs) at Hangberg Multipurpose Hall – daily and five days per week via TB HIV Care.
  • Community health workers (CHW) from TB HIV Care will be based at the multipurpose hall.
  • Home and community-based care will be delivered by CHWs.
  • Screening services for walk-in patients will be provided at the Hangberg Community Hall.
  • An hourly shuttle service will be provided by Healthnet for patients to Lady Michaelis Community Day Centre. Pick up points are from the Imizamo Yethu and Hangberg sites.

 The Hout Bay Clicks Store, situated at the Mainstream shopping centre, will provide free services for child immunisation and family planning to all state patients from 13:00 to 17:00 on Thursdays. 

  •  A helpdesk is available at Hout Bay CDC. For inquiries, call 021 790 1050.

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