'I intend throwing away the keys to City run clinics, they will be open 24 hours'

Herman Mashaba. Photo: Arnold Pronto
Herman Mashaba. Photo: Arnold Pronto

The City of Johannesburg’s clinics would be open 24 hours under the Democratic Alliance‚ says the party’s mayoral candidate for the metro in the coming municipal elections‚ Herman Mashaba.

“I intend throwing away the keys to City run clinics and they will be open 24 hours a day to cater for the needs of Joburg’s residents‚” Mashaba said during a visit to the Princess informal settlement in Roodepoort on the West Rand.

“We will have properly resourced and staffed clinics with trained nurses and adequately stocked medication‚” he added.

 Mashaba said clinics in informal settlements were faced with a myriad of challenges. The Princess clinic itself‚ epitomised these challenges and was in desperate need of additional medical staff and an expansion of its facilities.

“There is no ambulance in the area. When one is needed it has to be dispatched from Johannesburg and it can take up to 4 hours to arrive. In reply to a parliamentary question submitted by the DA‚ the Minister of Health indicated that a mere 45% of Johannesburg’s ambulances are operating while 78 of Johannesburg’s 143 allocated ambulances are not operational; the highest number of all South Africa’s metros.

“The clinic is severely under resourced with one doctor who is only available on Wednesday’s‚ three permanent nurses and four other temporary or contracted nurses.”

In a period of eight months the clinic had gone from seeing 1‚000 patients per month to over 2‚300 per month on average‚ which further highlighted the health crisis this community was facing‚ Mashaba said.

He added that the clinic was now serving many patients from neighbouring communities of Mhlangeni‚ Davidsonville‚ Witpoortjie‚ Leratong village‚ Lindhaven‚ Mendalore and a few people from Dobsonville due to either a lack of a clinic in their community or long queues and poor services at their local clinic.

Accusing the incumbent ANC of not living up to its promise of service delivery‚

Mashaba said Princess was one of seven communities‚ including Zandspruit‚ Noordgesig‚ Alexandra‚ City and Suburban‚ Kwa-Mai Mai and Kliptown that he had visited and reported to the Human Rights Commission.

“On behalf of these communities‚ the DA seeks remedial action for the City of Johannesburg’s contravention of human rights contained in the Constitution.”

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