It's Holiday Season, but HIV does not take a holiday | Western Cape Government

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It's Holiday Season, but HIV does not take a holiday

12 December 2012

It is the festive season and while it is a time to relax and have fun, the Western Cape Government Health urges citizens to do so responsibly.

It is envisaged that during the holiday season many citizens on antiretroviral (ARV) medication will either stop taking their medication or not take it as prescribed.

Western Cape Government Health urges citizens on ARV’s to take their medication DAILY:

  • DON’T STOP TAKING ARV TREATMENT – ARV treatment is lifelong and the citizen must be committed to taking ARV’s for life.
  • Although many patients return to care at some stage, if ARV treatment is stopped and re-started, the medication may not have the desired outcomes.
  • Protect yourself and your family by taking your ARV treatment DAILY.

Citizens are also urged to inform the department of any unsatisfactory service received - the only way the department can improve the patient’s experience is when they are made aware of unsatisfactory service.

How to lodge a formal complaint:

  • A formal complaint should always be lodged at the facility where the patient experienced a problem and should be addressed to the facility manager. The facility manager will attempt to resolve the matter immediately where possible.
  • Complaints and compliments forms are available at all facilities and should be deposited in the complaints/suggestion boxes available at the facility.
  • Where the nature of the complaint is such that immediate resolution is not possible, the complaint is acknowledged within five working days and the patient is provided with a response within 30 working days, once the complaint has been thoroughly investigated. More serious complaints may require a more detailed investigation in which case the response will exceed the 30-day period.  The patient will be provided with an interim response outlining the progress of the complaint and when a detailed response can be expected. 
  • All complaints received are regarded as serious and recorded in the complaints register, maintained by all facilities. The complaints register records the details of the complainant - the origin of the complaint, the nature of the complaint, to whom the complaint was referred to and the outcome of the investigation.

Citizens can also make use of the department’s pilot complaints system:

  • Send an SMS to 31022 (SMS the word “Help” followed by your name, nature of complaint, facility and if applicable, the name of a staff member)
  • Call 0860 142 142
  • Send an e-mail to

The pilot system is available at the following facilities:

  • Helderberg Hospital
  • Tygerberg Hospital
  • Somerset Hospital
  • Wesfleur Hospital
  • TC Newman Community Day Centre (CDC)
  • Retreat Community Health Centre (CHC)
  • Site B CHC
  • Mitchells Plain CHC

Note: This project does not replace the current complaints procedure, but is another channel to inform the department of unsatisfactory service.

Media Enquiries: 

Angelique Jordaan
Communications Officer: Head Office
Western Cape Government Department of Health
Tel: 021 483 3563