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ACDP visits clinic in Roodepan

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The president of the ACDP, Reverend Kenneth Meshoe, voiced his shock and criticised the health system as ineffective after visiting Dr Winston Torres Clinic in Roodepan.

ACDP leader Kenneth Meshoe and MP Marie Sukers visited Dr Winston Torres Clinic in Roodepan as part of their two-day programme in Kimberley. Picture: Soraya Crowie

THE PRESIDENT of the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP), Reverend Kenneth Meshoe, voiced his shock and criticised the health system as ineffective.

Meshoe made these remarks during his oversight visit to the Dr Winston Torres Clinic in Roodepan, Kimberley, on Wednesday.

Accompanied by the party’s Member of Parliament, Marie Sukers, and the provincial leader and premier candidate, Jonathin Sukers, they hit the campaign trail over two days in the city.

The visit also served to present the ACDP’s manifesto in preparation for the general elections in May.

Their itinerary included home visits, meetings with business and traditional leaders, and a community meeting.

Meshoe stated that their campaign is driven by a desire to enhance service delivery and to remind people that they are deserving of respect.

He specifically highlighted the issue of understaffing at the clinic, which he described as a troubling matter that deprives the community of their fundamental right to quality health care.

During the delegation’s visit to the clinic, they discovered that the clinic operates with only four permanent professional nurses and two sectional nurses on a daily basis.

The facility reportedly has a shortage of six nurses while serving about 3,000 patients a month.

“We learned that a maximum of 25 patients can see the doctor in a day. That is very low, given the fact that there are so many unemployed doctors sitting at home,” Meshoe remarked.

He drew attention to the issues of doctor shortages, corruption and the high unemployment rate among qualified health workers, which he found disturbing.

He strongly criticised the operation of the health system, stating that it complicates the nurses’ ability to serve patients with dignity.

He stated that the ACDP would propose recommendations to enhance the lives of nurses and ensure patients are treated with dignity.

“The government is paying more for an ineffective system, which also includes a shortage of medication. To hear that people come to the clinic at 5am, when it is cold, to see the doctor is disturbing,” he said.

“It’s because of the shortage of doctors that we have this problem of people having to stand in long queues, to wait for an opportunity to see the doctor. This is not normal and we don’t want people to think this is how they are going to live forever.”

“The government needs to implement a system that works and which also minimises such long queues at the clinics. There should be a system of doing follow-ups and reaching out to the patients at home.”

Sukers pointed out that the daily patient-to-nurse ratio is unfavourable as it prolongs the waiting time for patients who need to be referred for secondary treatment.

“One of the biggest issues that we have, is that of government’s treatment of foreign doctors. The issue is, that we sit with a big problem where we need doctors, yet the ones who are trained overseas are sitting at home because it takes so long for them to be absorbed into the system. It is an issue that needs to be improved if we want to improve health services at a primary care level,” said Sukers.

ACDP leader Kenneth Meshoe and MP Marie Sukers visited Dr Winston Torres Clinic in Roodepan as part of their two-day programme in Kimberley. Pictures: Soraya Crowie

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