Western Cape Government Health and Clicks Launch a Pioneering Partnership
The agreement between Western Cape Government Health and the Clicks Group to provide immunisation and family planning services, including medication, to state and private patients at Clicks clinics was today officially launched at a celebration ceremony at Vangate Mall, Athlone. Free immunisations were provided all day at the Vangate Clicks clinic.
Western Cape Minister of Health, Theuns Botha, said: “The benefit of this partnership is that the arrangement will enable our primary health care facilities to channel patients toward Clicks clinics and shorten the queues at primary health care facilities.
“Vaccination medication for babies in their first 18 months can cost more than R3500. I believe that the agreement offers a tangible benefit for our patients, and is unique to this province. This agreement is the forerunner of similar partnerships with other pharmacy groups across the province, and will eventually grow smaller pharmacy businesses.”
Minister Botha thanked the Clicks Group for setting the trend for future agreements in this regard. “The partnership has massive future scope in improving our service coverage in areas across the province,” said Minister Botha.
Minister Botha said the Western Cape health sector – public and private – contributes 14.5% to the national GDP and certainly demonstrates the significance of this sector in terms of the larger picture of South Africa’s economic growth. “In the Western Cape we are certainly challenged to offer quality health care to 6 million people who depend on government’s health services. This agreement will give our own staff more capacity to attend to patients with other health needs, and at the same time grow the economy. It is the Better Together approach. As partners we are able to achieve more.”
According to the agreement, which was signed between the head of Western Cape Government Health, Prof. Craig Househam, and Mr. Dan Zinner, head of Clicks Healthcare, the agreement will enable the pharmacy group to provide immunisations and family planning stock to all patients. This agreement is the forerunner to a service provider project that will enable pharmacy groups to provide similar services throughout the province.
In short it means that patients can dial 0860 254 257 and make an appointment for a consultation with a nurse at a Clicks Clinic, for vaccines or contraceptives. The stock will be provided by provincial government to Clicks clinics.
For this convenience, patients will pay a small convenience fee of R75.00 for vaccines and R50 for the first time family planning consultation. A follow-up family planning consultation will be R35. On Thursday afternoons from 13:30 till 17:00 these services will be free for all patients whose children were born in a state hospital, and without access to medical aid. It is recommended that patients make advance appointments for Thursday afternoons to avoid disappointment.
Since November last year the pilot programme was in operation at the following twelve Clicks clinics:
- Clicks Soneike
- Clicks Gugulethu
- Clicks Vangate Mall
- Clicks Edgemead
- Clicks Cape Gate
- Clicks Tygervalley
- Clicks Ashers Plumstead
- Clicks Golden Acre
- Clicks Howard Centre
- Clicks Kenilworth
- Clicks Blue Route
- Clicks Longbeach Mall
So far, since November last year, more than 500 baby immunisations and consultations have been rendered, during the pilot. More than 180 of these services were rendered through the Clicks Helping Hand Trust, with the convenience fee paid for by the Trust.
As of today, 29 January 2013, the project will be expanded to Clicks Clinics in the following towns across the province:
- Table View
- Mitchell’s Plain
- Somerset West
- Mossel Bay
- Plettenberg Bay
“The aim of the agreement is to make vaccines and family planning more accessible to more public health care patients,” says Prof. Househam.
Mr. Zinner agrees, saying “Clicks shares the same vision as the department and believes that the public and private sector can work together to increase access to primary healthcare. This partnership makes that vision a reality.”
Mr. David Kneale, CEO of the Clicks Group, said: “Increasing access to baby vaccinations and family planning services is crucial in preventing illness and reducing our country’s child mortality rate. We are excited to partner with the Western Cape Government to extend these vital primary healthcare services to all the citizens of the province.”
To make an appointment, please call 0860-254-257.