James Masango MPL
Provincial Chief Whip of the Official Opposition
The DA notes the announcement last week by Mpumalanga health MEC Candith Mashego-Dlamini changing the operating hours of the Nelspruit Community Health Centre (CHC) to run 24 hours a day.
The long overdue announcement follows sustained DA and public criticism of the health department’s failure to open and operate the Nelspruit CHC since its construction in 2010, and when the doors finally opened, it did not operate round the clock as planned – due to critical staff shortages.
The Nelspruit CHC is supposed to ease the burden on the Rob Ferreira hospital, with patients first expected to visit a local clinic or the CHC before being referred to the nearest hospital for more specialised care.
The DA hopes MEC Mashego-Dlamini’s decision will be first of many in response to Nelspruit’s primary health care problems. Since “provincialising” the management of municipal clinics, patients have been forced to wait hours before receiving treatment, and refused non-critical after hours treatment at Rob Ferrreira.
We hope that now the Nelspruit CHC is fully operational round the clock, MEC Mashego-Dlamini will fully inform the public on the referral system and how it works, to avoid any confusion when patients go straight to Rob Ferreira hospital for treatment.
The DA will continue with our oversight function to ensure that the people of Nelspruit, and the rest of Mpumalanga, enjoy access to health care.