“I am standing here since 6:30 am in the Morning with a sick 8-months old baby and iIts 9:45 now and I am still standing here” said Jade Grootboom while Standing outside the gateHornlee Clinic in Knysna.
She stood watching arrived much later than she receive immediate consultation because they had made an appointment.
“Three mothers with set appointment got in with healthy babies for regular checkups, and I am standing here with a sick baby waiting for my turn to come in, this is not fair, instead of them checking my child they gave me a placement number, and told me to wait I am number 10,” explained Grootboom.
On the 30th of June 2021, JHR reported that Hornlee Residents demanded access to health care be prioritized.
The Western Cape Department of Health’s Communications officer, Nadia Ferreira acknowledge at the time said there were many challenges at the Hornlee community clinic.
“Are many challenges facing the Hornlee community and they are in consultation with the Anglican Church to use their hall as an alternative site for distribution of chronic medication as well as other services.”
The Department also confirmed that it was arranged for Gazebos and chairs to be provided for patients forced to wait in long queues.
Two months have passed since the article was published and patients reporters that nothing has changed.
“I now bring my own chair, from home, because I can’t afford to stand here waiting for medication,” said 62-year-old Miracle Jostens.
“I have been collecting medication from this clinic for years now and I nothing seems to change instead things are getting worse. W, we’ve even given up complaining at the feedback box because we do not get called though we leave our numbers” she said
“Even Covid tests are done outside in this clinic and our security and safety are not considered at all.
We get here at six in the morning because if we could come late, you might have to turn back without getting the help you need because they will say it’s full for the day.
I am just tired of raising these concerns to the clinic because they do not go far,” concluded Jostens.
The Western Cape Department of health’s communications officer Nadia Ferreira promised to investigate.
Concerning the issue of old people standing for long hours, we will look into this matter again as we have a process in place that prioritises the elderly, frail and very sick. We normally use a security guard/dedicated staff member as a queue marshal.”
Ferreira emphasised that health care workers at the Hornlee Clinic have been asked to prioritise the elderly and mothers with sick babies.
“We ask that people bringing a sick child to our facility please inform the nurse so that the baby can be assessed and seen as soon as possible.”
The right to have access to health care services is a basic human right guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, the country’s Constitution. Section 27 provides that everyone has the right to have access to health care services including reproductive health care services and no one may be refused emergency medical treatment.
Responding to complaints about a lack of chairs, security Ferreira says said they received Gazebo’s and Chairs. “There are 40 chairs available, but we also have to take the COVID regulations into consideration.
Ferreira says they did receive benches but with the present space and set-up at the clinic, it is difficult to use more than one bench as the clinic needs to comply with COVID-19 safety precautions.
She promised that the department will discuss this issue with staff to determine if they can move the Covid- testing site to another space on the premises.
Ferreira says the Department of health does not have a budget to provide for 24hour security services as are provided to larger sites such as the community day centres.