Irate residents of Rosedale in Uitenhage shut down the clinic yesterday, citing a string of issues, including a shortage of staff and medicines and lack of security.
They said they had had enough of the ongoing problems plaguing the facility.
Residents claimed the shortage of staff and medicines often resulted in patients queuing for hours, only to have to leave the facility without receiving the required assistance.
Another issue facing both patients and staff at the clinic was the lack of security.
Residents alleged only one security guard was on duty, despite two incidents of alleged gang violence taking place in recent weeks.
It is understood that staff arriving for work yesterday were prevented from entering the premises by picketing residents. Staff members, however, said they would continue to report for duty.
DA shadow MEC for health Celeste Barker said the problems stemmed from a management issue.
She said it was unacceptable for patients to have to resort to such a drastic measure.
“We sympathise with all patients who have not been able to collect their medicine and with those who have to wait in intolerably long queues.”
Barker said she had submitted a list of questions to Health MEC Dr Pumza Dyantyi for reply by March 15.
Provincial health spokesman Sizwe Kupelo confirmed the clinic’s closure and said district officials were sent to engage with the community.
“Security at the facility is meant to protect patients, but our security cannot always stand up against gangs,” Kupelo said.
“This is where the community has a role to play, in ensuring that patients and staff are protected from gangs.”
On the issue of staff shortages, he said the department was addressing the matter.
Asked about the claims of medicine shortages, he said: “The department has enough medicine in the depot. Clinics should place their orders accordingly. We have no shortage of medicines in the province.”
Kupelo said officials would continue to engage with community members and that another meeting was scheduled for tomorrow.