Residents close M’well clinic

Khanyi Ndabeni

MOTHERWELL residents have closed down an understaffed municipal clinic after health officials failed to deliver on promises made two years ago.

The Motherwell NU11 clinic serves thousands of people from Motherwell, Rosedale, Boplaas and Ramaposa.

DOING ANOTHER JOB ... Community health nurse Nozipho Peter at the NU2 clinic, Motherwell, has to dispense medicines herself, because there is no pharmacist. Picture: JUDY DE VEGA It has been closed since Monday after nurses, members of the clinic committee and the community at large closed it until the municipality addressed the challenges faced by the clinic.

Nurse Winky Mangqibisa said there were only five nurses at the clinic, which serves thousands of people a week.

“Not only does one nurse have to see more than 100 patients a day, but nurses also have to share equipment.

“They have to act as doctors and pharmacists and sometimes give patients expired medicine. The slow service and the misdiagnoses have caused a quarrel between the community and the nurses.

“The community even threatened to burn down the clinic and nurses’ vehicles. We are tired of being blamed for everything. We want the officials to intervene now, or we will mobilise other clinics to start joining us,” Mangqibisa said.

Clinic committee chairman Nontsika Ngezana said municipal health director Mamisa Chabula-Nxiweni had in 2009 promised the clinic five additional nurses, two containers for treating TB patients and more equipment. So far, nothing had been delivered.

“Nurses are forced to weigh children in the toilet. They dress patients in storerooms because of space shortage. Since Monday only TB patients get their treatment. The rest need to go to nearby clinics until the municipality addresses the situation,” Ngezana said.

Municipal spokesman Ongama Mtimka said the clinic’s problems would be addressed when the municipality “finally gets full delegation of authority for primary healthcare in that sufficient funds will be allocated”.


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