BY REGINALD KANYANE
NORTH West health MEC, Dr Magome Masike dismissed as misleading a media report that painted Tlakgameng Community Health Centre in Morokweng as a shambles.
Masike visited the facility after the Sowetan newspaper reported that patients were reportedly turned away because the clinic faces a severe shortage of nurses.
In its report, the newspaper alleged that the centre has no hot water or sterilizers. It also mentioned that most of the light bulbs were burnt out and the centre has just one oxygen cylinder.
“Based on this provision, the allegation that there is no water in Tlakgameng CHC is just a fabricated story intending to dent the reputation of the institution. As for the shortage of nurses, the newspaper alleged that the centre operated with five nurses, but that is not true. Tlakgameng Health Centre is managed by the operational manager who is capable and always at the forefront in focusing on the provision of quality health care services at the institution,” Masike said.
He added: “The institution has nine general workers which consist of seven female and two males. We also have three admin clerks, two data capturers, four auxiliary nurses, one environmental health practitioner, one enrolled nursing assistant, one professional nurse relieve at the clinic when a need arise at PHC Re-engineering. On school health, we have one professional nurse, relieve at the clinic when a need arise too.”
The MEC said 11 professional nurses attend to patients on a daily basis and that the health centre has one pharmacy assistant.
“The above mentioned team is aware that there is shortage of professional nurses which is a colossal challenge. However they always make sure that it does not hinder the provision of quality health care services. They meticulously ensure that services are rendered 24 hours in the institution.
“The operational manager always elevates all challenges that are above his scope of practice, therefore he could have informed the management if ever there had been load-shedding at the centre,” he said.
The department is also in the process of buying a standby generator to supply power if load-shedding occurs.
Masike said that the institution has never encountered any challenges with regard to water as alleged.
“Hot water is also available at Tlakgameng CHC. The institution has two geysers. One of the geysers was temporarily not working, but it was already reported. The process for procurement of a new geyser was at an advanced stage,” he said.
The MEC added that if the journalist had doubled-checked with the department she would have known that a new geyser was on the way.
“The new geyser has been delivered at the centre as we speak. The medical equipment was also enough and in good working condition. The facility had all the essential items needed even for deliveries at the maternity unit. Few globes at the outpatient department were not working.
“However our investigation revealed that not long ago they were replaced. Eskom has been requested to visit the facility to inspect wiring and correct any abnormalities if any,” he said.
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