Intabazwe Clinic a shocking example of state of healthcare in the FS

Issued by Mariette Pittaway – DA MPL and Whip of the Official Opposition in the Free State Provincial Legislature
30 Aug 2019 in Press Statements

During an oversight inspection to Intabazwe Clinic in Harrismith this week, together with DA Maluti-a-Phofung councillor Getrude Letooane, it once again became blatantly apparent that the ANC-run government in the Free State does not care for the health or dignity of our people.

  • Upon arrival at the clinic I was shocked to see patients standing in the sun. According to them, they had been there for hours with no seating or shade outside for the waiting patients. Inside the dilapidated clinic building were two patients who sharing a single chair;
  • Patient files are stacked in the waiting area. Apart from it being a fire hazard, these files contain personal information of the patients that is confidential and should be secure in accordance with the provisions of the Protection of Personal Information Act 4 of 2013;
  • There was also no sign of any security which contradicts the MEC of Health in the Free State Ms Montsheng Tsiu’s commitment in her Budget Vote Speech on 11 July 2019 for “improved security plans” at healthcare facilities;
  • I was further informed that computers were stolen from this clinic just last week;
  • The clinic it totally overcrowded and severely understaffed with no required pharmacy assistant;
  • The nurses personally hand out medicine to the patients after each examination, causing a slowdown in the amount of patients that can be seen daily;
  • There is a dire need for a social worker in the area, but such requests fall on the deaf ears of government;
  • In spite of there being a dentist chair in the paediatric division, no dentist has visited the area in the last five years and the chair is being used as an examination bed;
  • There is only one blood glucose meter in the entire clinic and shortage of consumables appear to be the norm;
  • Due to the failing Maluti-a-Phofung Municipality, there is a serious problem with the supply of safe and reliable water;
  • Additionally, the clinic does not have a generator for instances when the electricity supply is interrupted due to load shedding; and
  • Only one outside toilet is available for all the patients.

I will once again be writing to the MEC of Health to bring these issues to her attention. The right to healthcare is embodied by the provisions of section 27 of our Constitution and this should be taken seriously.

The implementation of the National Health Insurance Bill will worsen the situation in our healthcare institutions. The ANC should prioritise healthcare and start acting decisively towards remedying state facilities, instead of crippling the healthcare system with unsustainable plans that threaten to nationalise and destroy existing private healthcare services.

The DA will continue to expose the rot in our Free State healthcare services and fight for our people to be treated with the same dignity and respect that they receive under DA-run governments.