TAC warns of mass protests at clin­ics

The Herald (South Africa) - - News - Estelle El­lis el­[email protected]­soblack­star.co.za

The Treat­ment Ac­tion Cam­paign has threat­ened mas­sive protest ac­tion at clin­ics in the metro if the East­ern Cape Depart­ment of Health does not put a stop to long queues, staff short­ages and the “unco-op­er­a­tive at­ti­tude of man­age­ment”.

TAC deputy pro­vin­cial chair in the East­ern Cape Them­bisile Nogam­pula, said it had staged the first of its protests at the Sil­ver­town clinic in Uiten­hage last week.

“The staff short­ages and the long wait­ing times are prob­lems at ev­ery clinic,” he said.

“We were forced to take protest ac­tion.

“They tell us these fa­cil­i­ties are com­pli­ant with health stan­dards.

“They are not. “Ev­ery­where there are long lines, staff short­ages and items are out of stock.

“We are strug­gling to find out if there are stock-outs or if peo­ple just do not know about generic medicine.”

Nogam­pula said the TAC wanted to ed­u­cate peo­ple about generic med­i­ca­tion (copies of brand-name drugs).

“They com­plain that they are not get­ting ARVs but then they are get­ting generic medicine,” he said.

“Clinic man­age­ment re­fuses to al­low us to ed­u­cate pa­tients, but we have an agree­ment at pro­vin­cial level that these clin­ics can be adopted by the TAC.”

Nogam­pula said un­less there was a sig­nif­i­cant change in the at­ti­tude of clinic man­age­ment it would con­tinue with its protests.

In the TAC’s re­port on the state of pro­vin­cial health, it pub­lished ex­ten­sive data gath­ered from pa­tients in­clud­ing:

● That 67% of clin­ics had in­suf­fi­cient staff;

● 41% of staff mem­bers were con­sid­ered as “some­times friendly” and 7% as not friendly at all.

Nu­mer­ous pa­tients re­ported bad staff at­ti­tudes af­fected their abil­ity to ac­cess health­care in these fa­cil­i­ties.

● Pa­tients waited for more than an hour to be seen in 19% of fa­cil­i­ties and more than two hours in 33% of fa­cil­i­ties.

Health spokesper­son Lwandile Sicwet­sha did not re­spond to a re­quest for com­ment.

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