Waiting up to six hours to see a doctor or collect medication is a thing of the past for patients visiting the Standerton Hospital in Mpumalanga.
This comes after the provincial Department of Health, in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and healthcare solutions company BroadReach, built a wellness centre worth R7 million. “Things have really improved. Patients used to wait for about six hours to see the doctor or collect their medication at the pharmacy. Currently, patients wait only an hour or less,” said Wellness Centre Operations Manager Elsabe Nienaber.
The Wellness Centre is situated inside the Standerton Hospital. In the past, patients would visit the hospital’s out-patient section for assistance. “The outpatient section was extremely overloaded with patients and as health workers we tried our best to provide the service, but the demand was just too high. “With the opening of the Wellness Centre we have a doctor dedicated to us who sees patients and prescribes medicines. We also have a pharmacy dedicated to the Wellness Centre, where patients can collect their medication after consultation with the doctor,” said Nienaber.
The Wellness Centre provides primary healthcare services, such as HIV testing, family planning, immunisation for children and more. The centre also administers antiretrovirals to HIV positive patients and supplies medication to those with tuberculosis, diabetes and hypertension. Between 130 and 150 people visit the centre daily for medical treatment and to learn how to live a health life.
The centre consists of a patient waiting area, with seating for up to 80 patients; administration and patient record area; four consulting rooms; doctor’s consulting rooms, with a separate sputum collection point for improved infection control and a boardroom.