Update on health services affected by minibus taxi strike and criminal activity
Update on health services affected by the minibus taxi strike and criminal activity.
The opportunistic violence in certain areas fuelled by the continued minibus taxi strike, has not only resulted in several health facilities being closed or operating at a reduced capacity, but has now also led to health facilities being damaged.
While communities in certain volatile areas have already had to endure the closure of health facilities, the Nolungile Community Health Centre in Khayelitsha became a target for arsonists and vandals last night. The facility had already been closed yesterday due to safety concerns. The extent of the damages is being assessed today.
The department remains committed to the safety of our staff. Facilities situated in areas that are not deemed safe, will be closed. The violence has also escalated to certain rural areas, meaning a reduced service will also be implemented in these areas as our staff cannot make their way to work because of transport disruptions and safety concerns.
We advise the public of the following service implications that the strike action and subsequent criminal activities will have today:
Central Hospitals (Tygerberg, Red Cross and Groote Schuur Hospital)
- elective surgery remains postponed.
- only emergency surgery will be conducted.
- Elective surgery is postponed at Mitchells Plain Hospital.
- Karl Bremer and Helderberg Hospitals operating at reduced capacity.
Community Health Centres and Clinics in the Metropole
- Facilities in Gugulethu, Nyanga, Crossroads, Inzame Zabantu, Nolungile, Michael Mapongwana and the Du Noon Maternity Obstetrics Unit are closed.
- Community-based care in these areas remain suspended as well as in Wallacedene and Bloekombos.
- In addition, several the City of Cape Town clinics have also been forced to close due the volatility of these areas.
- Oudtshoorn, Knysna, George, Paarl and Worcester will operate at reduced capacity.
Community Health Centres and Clinics
- Empilisweni clinic (Worcester), Nduli clinic (Ceres) are closed while Mbekweni clinic (Paarl) is operating at reduced capacity.
EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES AND FORENSIC PATHOLOGY SERVICES
- We have now had to declare over 70 areas as red zones which will result in delayed response times.
“We appeal to everyone to work with us in ensuring our staff and health facilities are kept safe as they are there to provide medical care to everyone. Our deep appreciation is conveyed to health and other essential services staff, who have continued where possible to deliver services to those in need” ” Dr Kariem added.
Western Cape Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Nomafrench Mbombo, added: “Any form of violence or damage to property cannot be condoned. I am deeply disappointed in the incidents of vandalism and arson that have taken place at Nolungile CHC, which occurred even after it was closed yesterday. It is beyond me that anyone would wish to damage a place that is meant to provide safety and health to residents. As Minister, I reiterate my call to everyone to allow the safe passage of healthcare workers so that they can continue to render services to communities. Our system cannot function without our staff being on the frontlines taking care of patients.”