MEC Condemns Burning of Steinkopf Health Facility
In an attempt to restore the delivery of health care services in Steinkopf, the Northern Cape MEC for Health, Ms Fufe Makatong last week conducted a community meeting to present the departmental contingency plan and also create a platform for members of the Steinkopf community to address their grievances on health care services in the area.
Accompanied by the Namaqua District Executive Mayor, councillor Klaaste, the oversight visit comes a week after a fire destroyed the Steinkopf clinic. The burned facility comprised of five consulting rooms that offered a full comprehensive primary health service to the population size of 10 thousand people, with a monthly head count of 2500 patients.
The Preliminary report released by the South African Police Services indicated that a case of arson is being investigated following the incident. “This particular incident generated fear among our health staff and communities across the province, so this necessitates us to beef-up security at all health facilities. As a collective, we need to work tirelessly in exposing perpetrators of such criminal acts and make sure that they are completely removed from communities to a place where criminals are kept. We must take ownership, as it remains our collective responsibility to protect all facilities in this community.”
MEC Makatong said. The MEC also introduced the local clinic committee members appointed to foster social cohesion and activism on health care provision. “We implore these man and women with the requisite knowledge and commitment to put their skills and expertise at the service of the people. They need to take ownership and ensure that the temporary structure allocated to service the community is kept safe.The Namaqua District Municipality is committed towards revamping the burned facility and ensure that health services are fully restored before the end of the current financial year. The dedicated team of medical practitioners will conduct home visits to reduce the patient waiting time at the new temporary structure.”
With regards to emergency medical services, the MEC announced that one ambulance and patient transport vehicle will station in Steinkopf and refer urgent cases to Springbok. Members of the community appreciated the MECs visit and requested that the department pay special attention on emergency medical services, wheel chairs and assistive devices, as well as the dispensing of medication.