Health Minister opens new government clinic in Knysna

Theuns Botha, Minister of Health

Western Cape Government

The Knysna Town Clinic that the Western Cape Minister of Health, Theuns Botha, opened in Knysna today, count among health 114 infrastructure projects completed in the past two years in the Eden District.

In his official opening address, Minister Botha said infrastructure is one of Western Cape Government Health’s identified areas of development to improve healthcare. It has been a major priority for the Eden district in the last three years. In 2011 a total of 73 projects and in 2012 a total of 41 were completed.

The major projects that have been completed recently are:

  • The hospital and clinic in Riversdale
  • The Melkhoutfontein Clinic outside Still Bay
  • The Harry Comay TB Hospital in George
  • The new Knysna Community Day Centre, to be officially opened next year
  • The Kwanokuthula Community Day Centre in Plettenberg Bay
  • The new Amalienstein Clinic in Zoar
  • The Regent Street Clinic in Oudtshoorn

The new Knysna Town Clinic that Minister Botha opened today attends to about 2000 patients per month. The new clinic was constructed when the previous clinic proved to be too small and uncomfortable.  It was decided to purchase the new building at a cost of R884 000. Additional to the normal rooms in a clinic, such as a waiting area and ablutions, the new clinic offers five consulting rooms, an observation room, an additional waiting room, a store room, a medicine room, a room for counselling and a sputum room.

Patients attending the clinic are not exclusively from the Knysna CBD. The clinic is popular among members of the community who work in Knysna but live in the surrounding areas. The clinic offers a full package of care that includes Women and Child Health such as birth control and immunisations, Mental Health, and Chronic Diseases management. Some of the challenges are that are a large number of patients are from different areas, and it is difficult to trace them when they default.

  • Alcohol and drug abuse are also high.

The burden of disease for the area includes tuberculosis (20 patients), hypertension (400 patients), HIV (200 patients) and diabetes.  An average of about six pregnant women per quarter are on the Prevention of Mother to Child programme.

  • The clinic staff also does outreaches to crèches.  In Knysna there are 24 private crèches, with a total of 120 children. Clinic sisters visit them twice a year for deworming, Vitamin A and immunisation.