Think Day Clinic Before Hospital | Western Cape Government

Think Day Clinic Before Hospital

(Western Cape Government)

Not all urgencies are emergencies

Think Day Clinic Before Hospital

Emergencies are never scheduled.  In fact, they often come at the most inconvenient of times. Once you have a health situation, whether minor or major, which requires medical attention, most of the times we find patients rush off to the nearest hospital’s Emergency Centre (EC). But did you know, not all are urgencies or emergencies?

The ECs are the entry points into the public hospitals and therefore face the brunt of the pressure, when dealing with motor vehicle accidents and other trauma-related incidents. They are built to perform their core function, which is to render quick and efficient emergency medical care, and are staffed accordingly. When less-than-urgent cases flood the ECs, it causes a reduction in efficiency of both the emergency service and the routine medical care provided.

Simply because the facility is not built to deal optimally with non-emergency cases. Clients with non-urgent and non-life threatening injuries or illnesses can visit their local Primary Health Care (PHC) facility such as a 24 hour Community Health Centre (CHC) or clinic where they can be assisted much quicker, making more efficient use of the system.

It is with this in mind the Western Cape Government Health is currently piloting an awareness and educational campaign within the Northern Tygerberg sub-district – to alleviate the unnecessary pressure placed on Karl Bremer Hospital – the only district hospital in the sub-district. The campaign’s elements include wall murals at Karl Bremer’s EC, service booklets of the EC and PHC facilities, newspaper inserts, interior taxi awareness, social media and radio. Collectively, these elements will aim to:clinic

Promote the efficacy of the PHC facilities and what services they offer

Create awareness of the triage system and what conditions are deemed as serious and which are non-life-threatening

Direct patients with minor ailments to their nearest clinic

The current pressures at Western Cape health facilities across the service platform, not only at hospitals and emergency centres, are real.

One potential reason for clients not attending the PHC facilities could be the perception that using an EC facility results in faster turn-around-time for clients, when often the opposite is the case. While Western Cape Government Health ECs will not refuse medical care to anyone, it is important that the public be well informed in terms of efficient use of resources to ensure maximum efficiency.

Think Clinic


Clients in the Northern Tygerberg area can find out the details of their nearest health facility most appropriate for their needs.

The department has embarked on numerous initiatives to address this matter including the following:

  • upgrading the infrastructure and medical equipment of emergency centres
  • a patient flow collaborative that has engaged with teams of staff working at Hospitals to address patient flow.

The pilot in Northern Tygerberg will be monitored over the next 3 months and evaluated in June. We are confident
it will bring about a reduction in the number of patients with minor conditions visiting the EC and could be rolled out to other ECs across the province.



The content on this page was last updated on 24 April 2018