Picture: ANA

Johannesburg - Following the extension of the service hours at Princess Clinic, in Roodepoort, west of Johannesburg, around 24 000 residents have been provided with healthcare, Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba said on Tuesday. 

"The Princess Clinic pilot project entailed extending service hours from the normal eight hours to 15 hours per day - Monday to Friday, and Saturday service hours from 07h00 to 13h00, which added a further 5.5 hours," Mashaba said during the one year anniversary of the extension.

Mashaba said the initiation of the longer operating hours came after he witnessed how the people of the community struggled to gain access to healthcare.

"These are people who would have been forced between choosing to give up work and their health. Choose between finding a job and getting access to healthcare; taking time off studies and accessing healthcare," he said.

Mashaba said that the environmental health of the residents had also improved.

"Our environmental health services is at the forefront of protecting the City’s environment and safeguarding the public from contracting communicable diseases from food, water, and other environmental factors."

He said as part of the programmes that had been initiated, all early childhood development facilities within the area had been inspected for environmental health concerns, pest control services conducted 2827 house to house surveys to determine the area’s exposure to the infestation of rodents and other pests and Pikitup was assisting by cleaning the community and disposing of refuse within the areas. 

"It is my pleasure to announce that the City’s health department is rolling out its free local drug action committee programmes and at clinics across Joburg," Mashaba said.

"We intend to ensure that in those communities where substance abuse is rife, especially in poor communities, rehabilitation is accessible at no cost."

Mashaba said the clinic opened its doors last month, and his department was determined to ensure that vulnerable people were able to access the clinics and programmes.

"The City is in consultation with private investors and businessmen in our bid to turn Johannesburg into a building site, so that our residents get jobs and that they can live in housing that the City is going to provide in public private partnerships."