A community’s cry for help

KOUGA – Despite close to 1 200 residents signing a petition and the relentless efforts by Kouga Municipality, the Department of Health (DoH) has failed to provide any meaningful response or support to the urgent need for improved healthcare services in the Kouga region

The Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) also appears disinterested in its oversight role.

Kouga Municipality Speaker, Alderman Brenton Williams, said this negligence has left Pellsrus Clinic in Jeffreys Bay and Sea Vista Clinic in St Francis Bay severely under-resourced – leaving residents unable to access the care they require.

“The petitions, with 1 028 and 154 signatures respectively for Pellsrus Clinic and Sea Vista Clinic, seeks to bring to the attention of the DoH the dire state of service delivery at these two facilities.

“It is based on the right to healthcare as enshrined in Section 27 (the Bill of Rights) of the Constitution and which provides that everyone has the right to have access to healthcare services and requires the state to take reasonable legislative and other measures to achieve the progressive realisation of this right.

Pellsrus Clinic

“The petition for Pellsrus Clinic – which is of service to the whole of Jeffreys Bay – serves to implore the DoH to establish a second clinic of which one must be a 24-hour Community Health Centre, and to, as a matter of great urgency, ensure that the current clinic is sufficiently staffed with suitably qualified personnel, as well as fully resourced with the required medical equipment.”

Sea Vista Clinic

In addition, according to Williams, the Sea Vista Clinic faces a myriad of challenges, including ineffective and inefficient healthcare provision, unfriendly and rude employees, unreasonably long wait times for medical attention, and patients being turned away for not wearing face masks.

The lack of prioritisation for employed residents, insufficient administrative support for clinical staff, and inconsistent availability of medication are also of great concern.

“Kouga Municipality remains committed to advocating for the health and well-being of its residents and will continue to seek answers and support from the relevant stakeholders to address these pressing health concerns,” said Williams.

“It is imperative that action is taken to address the health concerns in Kouga and ensure that residents have access to the care they need and deserve.”