No healthy affairs at clinic

2018-11-20 06:01
MEC for health, Nomafrench Mbombo (in yellow), with JP Smith, Mayco member for safety, security and social services, at Ocean View Clinic.

MEC for health, Nomafrench Mbombo (in yellow), with JP Smith, Mayco member for safety, security and social services, at Ocean View Clinic.

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Following residents’ complaints about poor service at the clinic in Ocean View, MEC for health, Nomafrench Mbombo and Mayco member for safety, security and social services, JP Smith, visited the clinic to listen to the patients’ grievances last Tuesday.

Ocean View residents believe a lot still needs to be done to improve service at the clinic, which services people from Masiphumelele, Kommetjie and Red Hill among other areas.

Residents are complaining about the poor service they receive and having to spend hours, if not the whole day, at the clinic, only for some to be told to come back the next day. They feel the waiting time is way too long and this is not how a health facility should operate.

Kenneth Matthews, one of the residents, says the service “is pathetic”.

“The clinic is a mess and the service is way too pathetic. The clinic was just renovated now and when you go there, whether you have an appointment or not, it takes forever to be helped. If it is not a file missing it’s the nurses going for a tea break and not coming back. When they finally decide to be done with the tea they go to the toilet, dragging their feet. They just don’t care about the people. We can’t have a service like this, it has to change,” he says.

Smith said City Health officials engaged with the residents and staff during the visit. “Some of the discussions during [today’s] visit included matters of clinic safety, waiting times, clinic appointment system, the expansion of the diabetic programme and the formation of the Ocean View Health Committee.

“Currently, the average waiting time at Ocean View Clinic is two hours; however it is hoped that with the migration to the modernisation system, the waiting time will decrease and the overall patient experience will improve,” he said.

Smith also touched on the City’s Ideal Clinic Status drive, the enhancement of pharmacies, the possibility of including pharmacy learnerships, as well as the difficulty in recruiting qualified staff, specifically from the area.

Despite the City reaching out, Matthews says the visit was done in secrecy. “The community should have been told about this. We are the people that use the facility and we can come up with ways to improve the services. We know as the community we can also be difficult but I think we wouldn’t be as difficult if the staff worked fast and did not have an attitude,” he says.

Mbombo says the reason for the visit was to make sure that quality services are being delivered. “This is part of the oversight and also to respond to some of the challenges that are faced by the community at large, which might not necessarily be that it’s a health responsibility. For example, we know in Ocean View, substance abuse and trauma as a result of injury end up being absorbed by False Bay Hospital. We also wanted to make sure that even the existing services that are rendered are still of quality. We really want to thank the staff for doing as much as they can under the circumstances.”

Paul Franke, acting chairperson of the Ocean View Civic Association, says they didn’t know about the meeting.

“It is sad that we didn’t know about the meeting yet we have been trying to drive this thing. They are upgrading the clinic and it is affecting the services. I have experienced it myself – you go there in the morning, spend the whole day there. If you’re lucky they help you, but for most people they have to come the next day. I doubt the health committee will work. People are already doing a lot in this area and the department must come with a proper plan – a stipend or something to get the people involved.”


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