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Dunoon residents sick of rude medics at clinic, demand respect from staff

Du Noon residents marched to their local clinic for better services. Picture: Supplied

Du Noon residents marched to their local clinic for better services. Picture: Supplied

Published Sep 22, 2023


Cape Town - Frustrated Dunoon residents said they are sick of rude staff at their local clinic.

They went to the health facility yesterday morning with a petition with 646 signatures. The community of Dunoon had been complaining about the poor service they allegedly received from the clinic.

Their grievances include ill-treatment by the clinic staff, patients being turned away, double bookings and inadequate waiting areas.

Thembelani Ndabezimbi said: “People have to wait outside the clinic even when it is raining, there is insufficient shelter for patients, which results in patients queueing outside.

“The community demands a mobile clinic to help overcome these challenges. A patient went to the clinic but ended up going home without getting treatment. The doctors and nurses were so rude, I don’t like the way they do things in that clinic,” he said. “We went to the clinic in 2019 and 2020 and nothing happened, they just changed the manager.”

Dunoon Women for Gender Equity chairperson Vuvu Mukumela told the demonstrators they have the right to get the treatment they need at the facility.

“I want everyone to understand that coming to the clinic is exercising your right, and according to the Bill of Rights, you can go to the facility. And you have to get assistance, we don’t want to make appointments to get healthy.

“I urge you to take down the name of whoever mistreats you and take a video and bring it to us. Don’t be scared, the nurses are paid to help us, their salaries are paid because of you. There is no reason to act like they own the facility.”

The manager of the clinic, Reuben Christoffels, said they would get back to the residents within seven days.

“We are here to see where we can improve. It’s our job to actually serve the community, and if we are doing things wrong and there are things that we are not supposed to do, it’s a good way to bring it to our attention.

“I do want to say we have a community health forum. Vincent Jaxa, he’s in the forum.

“We have a monthly meeting where community complaints are brought by the forum members, but you are free to join it, so we can timeously resolve these complaints and we can know that there is somebody who is representing you in the forum.”

Western Cape Health and Wellness Department communication officer Natalie Watlington said they were aware of the march.

“Our facility manager and health committee representatives from the community were present to receive the memorandum. Our department’s goal is to give the best possible care to our community members. This feedback assists us in moving forward.

“We will be meeting as a multidisciplinary team to address the concerns raised and seek ways to implement solutions. We will also be responding to the memo within the time frame given through the relevant structures.”

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Cape Argus