Parliamentary committee appalled by KZN Health ‘disaster’ clinic

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Parliament’s portfolio committee on health says it is appalled by conditions at a clinic in Umlazi in KwaZulu-Natal which it described as a “disaster” that does not qualify to be called a clinic.

The Times reports the committee conducted an unannounced visit to the Umlazi V clinic on Friday on the last day of its week-long oversight visit programme in the province. Acting chair of the committee Fish Mahlalela said: “We were shocked in one clinic at Umlazi‚ what we saw there is appalling.”

The committee gave an update to the KwaZulu Natal’s MEC for Health‚ Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo‚ on its findings during the unannounced visit. The committee said the facility did not qualify to be a clinic as “there is not even a single element that makes it to be referred to as a clinic”.

According to the report, it said TB patients‚ babies‚ children were all kept in one area. “It is a worrying situation,” said Mahlalela. He added that the situation was bad and demanded urgent intervention.

The clinic is a simple conversion of a house into a clinic to assist the community. The clinic’s manager‚ Khulekani Myeni‚ said in the report that the clinic was not an ideal one‚ the consultation rooms were small as space was a challenge‚ and that nurses had to share when they saw patients‚ mixing males and females at times.

Myeni added that clinic was not maintained and, as a result, toilets were blocked. He told the committee that‚ at times‚ the clinic ran out of water and there was no backup plan in place. “You have a problem in the clinic and you cannot afford to have bigger problems,” said Mahlalela.

The committee said the clinic was a disaster and that it was unacceptable that people could be provided health services under appalling conditions. The MEC told the committee that a decision was taken to close the clinic as there was a better functioning clinic nearby.

The Times report

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