The ANC in the Western Cape is considering asking the health ombudsman to investigate issues at health facilities in the West Coast district. Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency(ANA)
The ANC in the Western Cape is considering asking the health ombudsman to investigate issues at health facilities in the West Coast district. Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency(ANA)

Call for probe of health facilities in the West Coast district

By Mwangi Githathu Time of article published Nov 1, 2020

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Cape Town - The ANC in the Western Cape is considering asking the health ombudsman to investigate issues at community health-care clinics and facilities in the West Coast district following a standing committee on health oversight visit that uncovered “a lot of issues”.

Committee member Rachel Windvogel said: “Most clinics in the municipality don’t have adequate space for waste management, which is a safety hazard.

“There is gross under-staffing across all clinics and staff are overworked,” she said.

“The safety of staff at the Hanna Coetzee clinic is a huge problem and files are stacked in the corridors where patients are moving.

“At some clinics cupboards are broken, there is no maintenance,” Windvogel said.

“There is no way that one can receive quality health care under these conditions. I will go back and sit down with my team to see how we will take up these issues and hold government accountable.

“One option may be to ask the health ombud for investigation. We will also pay close attention to the Western Cape mid-term budget and budget adjustments later in the month to see if provision will be made to address these issues.”

The standing committee has been in the district conducting unannounced oversight visits to health facilities.

Meawhile, the province’s permanent delegate to the NCOP will be drafting a “comprehensive report” on the significant service delivery challenges faced by Kannaland municipality following a week-long oversight visit, the leader of the delegation, Cathy Labuschagne, has said.

The municipality, which last year voluntarily requested being placed under administration, is dealing with challenges including “the roll out of services to rural areas, under-serviced households, water supply shortages and lack of adequate investment in economic infrastructure”.

Labuschagne said: “The visit is part of the provincial week programme of the NCOP and was carried out under the theme: Ensuring capable and financially sound municipalities.

“The purpose of the delegation for this week is to focus on the interplay of support from the province, as well as the municipality’s role to ensure capacity for improving service delivery to communities, as well as the improvement of financial management,” said Labuschagne.

“Already the delegation has been briefed by the Kannaland deputy mayor, Phillipus Antonie, about progress on projects such as the sports fields in Zoar and the upgrade of the water reticulation plant.”

Also included in the report will be information that was gleaned from meetings with the municipal administrator, the municipal manager, the chief financial officer, the mayor, and all the councillors, on the state of the municipality.

Cape Argus

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