KZN MEC plans on beefing-up clinic after residents go on protest

KZN health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu met with residents and staff at the Richmond clinic on Friday.
KZN health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu met with residents and staff at the Richmond clinic on Friday.
Image: Supplied

Newly appointed KwaZulu-Natal health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu plans on getting nurses from other areas to staff the Richmond clinic in the KZN midlands after residents threatened to boycott the facility over poor service delivery.

Simelane-Zulu met Richmond residents on Friday after the ANC Youth League in the area had planned to march to the clinic to voice the issues they have with the health facility.

Among other things, residents complained about the long waiting times, delays in ambulance services and the poor attitude of the clinic staff.

"One of the issues raised was that the community doesn't have enough staff, particularly in the evening because it's a 24-hour clinic. But because of the high staff turnover, the clinic finds itself with just one sister or nurse.

"We do have a temporary measure, where we are going to request nurses from other areas to come and assist," she said, addressing residents at the clinic.

She said that a permanent solution to the problem would be for the department to advertise posts and urged skilled local community members to apply.

"The department has advertised posts, and we call on local professionals to also apply because one of the reasons for the high staff turnover is the fact that people who work here sometimes do not come from the area. So, it becomes too far for them to travel and they struggle with transport," said Simelane-Zulu.

"We requested the organisers of the march not to proceed with it, and rather give us this opportunity to engage. We must appreciate the fact that they listened and we sat down and talked. It was a very fruitful meeting, and we were able to come up with solutions," she added.

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