Department of health spokesperson Mark van der Heever said the recent disruptions to public transport caused by taxi violence meant that some health workers in the city could not get to work. Picture: Sisonke Mlamla/Cape Argus
Department of health spokesperson Mark van der Heever said the recent disruptions to public transport caused by taxi violence meant that some health workers in the city could not get to work. Picture: Sisonke Mlamla/Cape Argus

Taxi violence disrupts health services in Cape Town

By Mthuthuzeli Ntseku Time of article published Jul 22, 2021

Share this article:

Cape Town - The ongoing taxi violence has resulted in the disruption of services at health facilities in some of the areas in the city.

The Nyanga Clinic reopened on Wednesday after it was closed on Tuesday while Gugulethu Community Health Clinic in NY3 was operating on a reduced staff.

Equal Rights Forum spokesperson in Nyanga Noluthando Jack said residents received notifications cancelling appointments for the collection of their medication.

Gugulethu Development Forum health head of department Nowi Mdayi said the clinic was now operating for eight hours with only four nurses. She said midwife obstetric units would continue as a 24-hour service, while trauma patients were referred to Heideveld.

“Our professional nurses and doctors do not reside in our area and can’t travel. As a result, people were not able to honour their appointments, and it was only today that the Kwezi vaccination station opened, and this had caused a backlog.

“The taxi violence has caused a lot of chaos which was further exacerbated by the bad weather. Just before the taxi violence, two doctors resigned from the clinic, which caused staff shortages. However, community structures are gathering together, working with other community organisations to restore calm in our community,” said Mdayi.

Department of health spokesperson Mark van der Heever said the recent disruptions to public transport caused by taxi violence meant that some health workers in the city could not get to work or got to work late.

Van Der Heever said this affected the department’s ability to provide healthcare services to communities and meant that health services could not be maintained in several areas after-hours.

“On Tuesday, our vaccination teams were also affected by this, coupled with connectivity issues with EVDS, which saw 27 000 vaccines administered, which is 3 000 less than our target of 30 000 a day – which we did achieve on Monday.

“We are aware of some people who missed their vaccination appointment yesterday (Tuesday) due to the disruption in public transport. This, in addition to the appointments scheduled for today, places additional pressure on our vaccination sites. Our teams will try their utmost best to accommodate these missed appointments alongside the scheduled appointments for the day and walk-in clients,” he said.

Van Der Heever said managers were monitoring the available staffing capacity were and trying their best to maintain services with the limited staff on-site, and were adjusting work schedules.

“While we do not have control over this violent situation, the safety of our staff remains our priority.This is not ideal, but we value our staff’s lives and their safety, while responding to our obligation to continue to provide services,” he said.

[email protected]

Cape Argus

Share this article: