Panic over future of Hout Bay Day Hospital
Cape Town - Uncertainty over whether the Hout Bay CDC which caters to about 4500 patients a month is opening or closing has caused many Hangberg residents to panic and fear not having health facilities in the area.
However, according to the Western Cape Health Department, an additional facility has been secured to guarantee and render better health services to the community as well as allow for easier access to comprehensive health services for our patients in Imizamo Yethu.
Residents in Hout Bay were up in arms after the day hospital in Hangberg was closed on September 17 and only reopened in early October due to violent community protests that broke out in the area, making it difficult for staff members to gain access to the facility.
However, this is all behind the small community with a rising crime rate. Crime in the area has increased over the last three years with murder increasing from 5 in 2017 to 20 in 2019. Sexual offences increased from 36 in 2017 and 40 in 2019 while attempted murder increased from 17 in 2017 and 18 in 2019.
The department’s spokeswoman, Natalie Watlington confirmed to Weekend Argus that “the additional facility has been secured to render a continuous package of quality care to the growing community of Hout Bay and will be a fully operational clinic”.
Watlington further disputed claims by Hangberg, Hout Bay community activists that the facility had been shut down.
“The Hangberg facility has not closed and we continue to provide basic health services from this facility as well as the Iziko Lobubomi Hall In Imizamo Yethu. These services include the collection of chronic medication parcels, screening for TB, HIV testing, blood pressure, sugar and pregnancy tests,” she explained.
Earlier this month, Hangberg activist Roscoe Jacobs� issued a statement stating that the day hospital was shutting down, although the department had informed the Human Rights Commission that the clinic would be open at the start of the month.
“This action by the Western Cape Health Department's action is proof of the continued violation of the Human Rights of the community of Hangberg Hout Bay and the broader community of Hout Bay. The community of Hangberg Hout Bay calls on the South African Human Rights Commission to institute urgently a Commission of Inquiry into the gross violation of Human Rights and the threat of violation of human rights,” read the statement.
The department stated: "All patients accessing the Hangberg facility will still have access to screening for medical advice and subsequent booking of appointments for the facility in Victoria Street should this be necessary. We have aimed to improve easier patient access by maintaining all facilities in the area and boosting the service to communities directly through these community-based services. We believe that these additions will ensure improved health services to Hout Bay residents."
The department added that: “the addition of the facility in Victoria Street will allow for easier access to comprehensive health services for our patients in Imizamo Yethu.”