Ext 2 clinic in Eldorado Park remains closed

Residents of Ext 2 Eldorado Park in Region G have committed to giving their full support to the health professionals at the Ext 2 clinic however the clinic remains closed.

On Wednesday 18 October over 150 people attended a meeting at the clinic that was arranged by Ward Councillor Juwairiya Kaldien-Smith and senior health officials to discuss the reopening, safety and security of staff and the clinic, community and staff relations and the election of a clinic committee.

The clinic was closed on 3 October after an attack and assault of the security guard by thieves who stole the electricity cable leading from the distribution box. Staff have also complained of threats to their lives and racial slurs by some community members including demanding medication at gunpoint.

Councillor Kaldien-Smith pleaded tolerance amongst community and nursing staff to enable a conducive environment for service delivery. She was very firm in pointing out the need for the community to take responsibility for their actions and provide voluntary protection for the clinic and its staff.

“This clinic belongs to all of us and you must treat the staff with respect and abide by the procedures and policies for the clinic to function optimally,” says Kaldien-Smith.

She chastised the handful of men in attendance saying: “You need to become more active in the lives of your sons, teach them manners and know what they up to. You cannot sit back whilst the women do everything which is overwhelming for them. You must be fathers and men in the community.”

Acting Regional Health Director Tshimangazo Sioga and Sister Francis Klaaste also addressed the meeting, pointing out the needless threats to staff, verbal abuse and unreasonable requests for sick notes at time of closure including outlining procedures and policies that govern staff operations.

They both indicated that staff could not work under duress or be expected to leave the clinic to attend to patients as this was not allowed. Several community members voiced their grievances about the treatment they received but also suggested that local youth be employed as security to deter criminal activity as they were familiar in the community.

While no agreement could be reached on temporary voluntary security by community members to enable the reopening of the clinic, the matter will be escalated to the MMC for Health Councillor Ennie Makhafola-Ramadimetje for urgent attention.

Marouse Diale and Sister Layla Campbell from the Health Directorate at Metro Centre in Braamfontein were in attendance to support the regional management. They stressed the importance of establishing a clinic committee to serve as a conduit between community members and the staff on governance issues, whereafter Sister Campbell shared committee nomination forms for people of good standing to be nominated onto the clinic committee.

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