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Contingency plan for burnt N Cape clinic

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The clinic provided comprehensive primary health services to more than 2 500 patients

DAMAGE: The MEC for Health, Fufu Makatong, with a local councillor at the clinic in Steinkopf which was burnt recently. Picture: Supplied

THE NORTHERN Cape MEC for Health, Fufe Makatong, visited Steinkopf yesterday after the local clinic in the town was destroyed in a fire a week ago.

Makatong met with community members to present the department’s contingency plan and also created a platform for members of the Steinkopf community to raise issues regarding the provision of health care services.

She was accompanied by the Namaqua District Municipality executive mayor, Melvin Cloete, and other councillors.

The oversight visit comes a week after a fire destroyed the Steinkopf clinic, which included five consulting rooms.

The clinic provided comprehensive primary health services to more than 2 500 patients.

The preliminary report released by the SAPS indicated that a case of arson is being investigated following the incident.

“This particular incident generated fear among our health staff and communities across the Province and necessitated that we beef-up security at all health facilities. As a collective, we need to work tirelessly in exposing perpetrators of such criminal acts and to make sure that they are completely removed from communities to a place where criminals are kept. We must take ownership, as it remains our collective responsibility to protect all facilities in this community,” Makatong said.

The MEC further introduced the local clinic committee members appointed to foster social cohesion and activism on health care provision.

“We implore these men and women, who have the requisite knowledge and commitment to put their skills and expertise at the service of the people. They need to take ownership and ensure that the temporary structure allocated to serve the community is kept safe.”

The Namaqua District Municipality committed itself to revamping the burnt facility and ensuring that health services were fully restored before the end of the current financial year.

A team of medical practitioners will conduct home visits to reduce the patient waiting time at the new temporary structure.

With regards to emergency medical services, the MEC announced that ambulance and patient transport vehicle would be stationed in Steinkopf while urgent cases would be referred to Springbok.

Members of the community appreciated the MEC’s visit and requested that the department pay special attention to the provision of emergency medical services, wheelchairs and assistive devices, as well as the dispensing of medication.