WITH the increase in hospitalisations due to the second wave of Covid-19 infections, the Western Cape Government has amended changes to its health-care services. | Armand Hough African News Agency (ANA)
WITH the increase in hospitalisations due to the second wave of Covid-19 infections, the Western Cape Government has amended changes to its health-care services. | Armand Hough African News Agency (ANA)

Western Cape announces changes to health-care services, and here’s how they impact you

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Dec 21, 2020

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Cape Town - With the increase in hospitalisations due to the second wave of Covid-19 infections, the Western Cape Government has made a number of changes to its current health service delivery offering.

Among those is the news that the Western Cape Health Department has restricted in-hospital visits. Non-urgent outpatient appointments will be postponed and patients given alternative dates.

Patients who are in hospital but stable will be discharged for further management at home or at a step-down facility, and non-urgent elective surgery will be postponed and patients provided with a later date.

Outreaches from district and regional hospitals will also be suspended.

The Health Department has also urged patients to only access emergency centres for listed emergencies, and that patients with non-emergencies should access health-care services at the nearest clinic.

Listed emergency services that will continue are:

  • Emergency surgery
  • Obstetric surgery
  • High-risk obstetric clinic
  • Fracture clinic
  • Limited eye care and eye surgery
  • Allied health for emergency cases

Amended services at clinics:

  • Medication delivery to stable chronic patients will continue
  • Medication will be given for longer periods where possible
  • Outreaches will be postponed
  • Non-urgent appointments will be postponed and given an alternative date
  • Essential services will continue, such as TB and HIV screening and treatment, chronic care, family planning, immunisations, and antenatal and postnatal care
  • Dental services limited to emergencies only
  • Eye care services limited to emergencies only
  • MOU’s (midwife obstetric units) will continue to operate

The provincial Health Department said that patients were encouraged to make an appointment before visiting a health-care facility by calling their local clinic.

Patients in the Cape metro can also access the Pocket Clinic Telehealth Service from their cellphones (WhatsApp) by sending “Hi” to 087 240 6122.

“Only visit the clinic or hospital emergency centre when you really have to. Coronavirus spreads where people gather, including at public health facilities. Always wear a clean cloth mask over your mouth and nose, and keep a distance of 1.5m from other people,” the department said.

Stay safe tips:

  • Always wear a cloth mask covering your nose and mouth when leaving your house.
  • Protect your air space by keeping a distance of 1.5m from others.
  • Socialise outdoors, with a small number of people, for a limited time.
  • Avoid confined spaces with poor ventilation, crowds, and close contact with others.
  • Keep doors and windows open for good ventilation when indoors.
  • Stay home if you feel sick. Arrange a Covid-19 test if you have symptoms, such as headache, body ache, sore throat, cough, difficulty breathing, and weakness.
  • Isolate while waiting for test results. If positive, isolate for ten days.

Cape Argus

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