16 April 2018

South Africa: Basic Health Care Denied to Residents in Ga Pila, Mogalakwena

press release

Not one analgesic, which assists with pain, fever or inflammation was available at the Sterkwater Clinic in Ga-Pila Village, Mogalakwena.

On an oversight visit to the clinic, the DA has established that the clinic cannot provide the most basic medicinal care to residents in the area.

Apart from being unable to assist with pain medications, the clinic was also desperately short of antibiotics and had no cough mixture available, at a time when a change of season and winter colds and flu become prevalent. Despite constantly ordering the basic supplies, the clinic does not get supplies ordered or are short delivered.

Seriously understaffed, the clinic is under pressure from the surrounding farming communities who often come to the clinic because the mobile clinics servicing the farms do not arrive or when they are due. Most of the patients from the farms require regular medication for HIV/Aids and TB, which is available at the clinic, but the farm workers are frustrated by the costs of travel and time lost from work.

Any ill or injured patient at the clinic requiring emergency relocation to a hospital, is likely to have to wait between 6 and 8 hours for an ambulance to arrive. The shortage of ambulances in the area has resulted in emergency services being logged according to time of call. Well equipped with emergency supplies and resuscitation equipment, the nursing staff cannot assist with medication for pain or fever in the interim.

The staff kitchen at the facility is in a serious state of disrepair and the grounds are overgrown. The washing machine which is used to sterilize and clean dirty and contaminated linen does not work most of the time, so linen is washed by hand.

The DA has written to both the MEC of Health, Phophi Ramathuba, and asked formal questions to the health Minister, Aaron Motsoaledi, to assist and assess the neglect of primary health care in the area.

All South Africans are constitutionally entitled to proper primary health care.

The DA Health policy puts primary health care and properly equipped emergency services at the fore and is designed to ensure that every citizen regardless of their situation is protected and assisted.

We will not sit back while the poor and vulnerable suffer without the most basic health care.

Lindy Wilson MP

DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Health

South Africa

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