New Dermatology Clinic in Mitchell's Plain is One of a Kind
The Western Cape has 40 of the 153 trained dermatology nurses on the African continent, the provincial Minister of Health, Theuns Botha, said in his address at the opening of the new Dermatology Clinic at Mitchell's Plain Community Health Centre this morning.
The dermatology clinic is one of a kind because the majority of dermatology nurses offer their services as part of the primary healthcare package, not as a specialisation.
In his address, Minister Botha said that Western Cape Government Health's Vision 2020 will provide appropriate health technology and infrastructure, and ensure a sustainable income to provide health services in accordance with the needs of communities.
A great need for a Dermatology Clinic in Mitchell's Plain was identified based on the number of patients presenting with skin problems.
The project was initiated in November 2010 when clients discharged from Groote Schuur Hospital and Red Cross Children's Hospital required follow-up services. The aim was to bring the service closer to the community who needed it the most. Patients have been attending the clinic since June this year.
Two of the centre's consulting rooms were renovated and converted into a Dermatology Clinic and consulting area, covering 20 square metres. The clinic is able to consult approximately 30 patients per day. The services are further supported by specialists once a week, providing research opportunities and establish tendencies on the reasons for skin problems in this area. Examples of skin conditions to be treated are eczema, acne, fungal infections, nail problems, ulcers and scabies.
Specific times have been allocated to specific target groups. The clinic will be open for children and babies every morning from 07:00 and 11:00 until 16:00, but on Thursdays the clinic is for adults only (same hours). Primary school learners have an opportunity on Mondays to Wednesdays at 13:00, and high school learners at 14:00.
The clinic is nurse-driven. Mitchell's Plain CHC was fortunate to have a clinical nurse practitioner already trained in Dermatology Services to implement the programme. The Clinical Nurse Practitioner will run the clinic, assisted by a professional nurse and a nursing assistant.
The nurses will be supported by specialists from Groote Schuur Hospital and Red Cross Children's Hospital who will attend to problem cases on Thursdays.