STATEMENT BY DR NOMAFRENCH MBOMBO
WESTERN CAPE MINISTRY OF HEALTH
DATE: 02 October 2015
New Phelophepa Healthcare Train routes planned for rural areas in 2016
Release date: immediate
Today, after 7 weeks of service, 1000 kilometers travelled and over 47 000 patients attended to, the Phelophepa Health train is leaving the Western Cape from Saldanah Train Station.
The healthcare services were received with much excitement by eager patients awaiting the arrival of the train in their respective towns.
The Western Cape Government (WCG) would like to thank the Phelophepa Healthcare train for bringing healthcare closer to our people. The services provided communities with much needed healthcare assistance and brought relief to our already overburdened healthcare facilities.
“We would like to thank all the health professionals and volunteers, who worked tirelessly for long hours to accommodate all clients” Minister Mbombo said.
The Phelophepa Health Care Train has reached a total number of 12 000 patients on the train and over 35 000 patients in the outreach programmes since it started service on 17 August in De Doorns. Close to 5000 pairs of glasses were cut and around 25 000 pharmacy items were dispensed. The Eye – and dental clinics were among the most popular services on the train.
More than 500 locals were employed throughout the province that assisted with daily operations. A total of 77 nursing positions were available on the train and were filled by local nurses on a temporary basis.
We commend the foundation for their Edu-clinic programme where 112 individuals were trained in all the towns across the province. They all completed one week of basic primary health care training, enabling them to build on a career in primary healthcare going forward.
Today, the train departs from Saldanah Train station and will return to the Western Cape between August and October 2016. New routes are planned for 2016 and are currently in consultation phase.
The WCG fully supports this service provided by this foundation, and has to this effect started discussions with Transnet to sign a Memorandum of Understanding to manage the future partnership in healthcare provision between the foundation and the Western Department of Health, so as to assist the healthcare train in the attempt to reach more communities who would not have been able to access primary healthcare.
The MOU will involve collaborations regarding i) new routes, formalizing relations with local municipalities and joining various health projects ii) Train Routes and Stationing iii) formalizing relations with farm owners and – workers.
“We are looking at expanding the services to more rural areas in the Western Cape, and therefore we want to partner with the foundation to make it more accessible to get to every corner of this Province. The MOU is crucial to formalize the agreement with WCG and the Transnet Foundation in order to expand to more areas” said Minister Mbombo.