A new R16 million clinic has opened in Slovoville, near Dobsonville in Soweto, offering a range of health services to residents at their doorstep.
Speaking at the unveiling of the clinic, City of Johannesburg Mayor Parks Tau said the clinic offered a variety of services that would give the community access primary health care.
The facility also meets the standards that would make it possible for the National Health Insurance (NHI) to be rolled out. “It is important today that we should acknowledge and congratulate the Department of Health within the city... for initiating and implementing a project that will make us proud.
“The clinic is also a facility to meet the standard of NHI. While the scheme is being rolled out in other areas, we believe we should be able to build a clinic that meets those standards that will make it possible for NHI to be rolled out in the area,” he said.
The NHI is a financing system that will provide all South Africans with essential health care, regardless of their employment status. NHI compliant health facilities have to meet strict standards relating to cleanliness, safety and security of patients.
The Slovoville Clinic offers a range of services covering reproductive health, maternal (antenatal and postnatal) health, women’s health, youth and child health (including immunisation), HIV and AIDS, sexually transmitted infections, tuberculosis, management of acute illness, management of chronic conditions, health promotion and emergencies.
The clinic has five consultation wards for chronic diseases, Mayor Tau said, adding that the city had entered into partnerships with doctors from private clinics for them to work with the clinic.
“We have agreed that Slovoville will be a pilot area for us to do a health profile of the community.
“We will be visiting homes and people will be visiting the clinic. We will then come back in a year and we will measure how the health profile of the community has improved,” the Mayor said.
First Lady Bongi Ngema-Zuma, who in The newly built clinic in Slovoville means residents no longer have to travel to neighbouring communities to get quality health care. 2010 started a foundation that promotes health, also attended the opening of the clinic.
“I stand here representing the Bongi Ngema Foundation. I grew up in a family that is affected by diabetes. My mother lived with diabetes for three decades. During her time, there were no clinics like this one that cares and treats diabetic patients.
“I commend you [Mayor Tau] for the wonderful work done, and indeed this is a good story to tell and I am going home to tell everyone,” she said.
Ngema-Zuma, who visited the area while the clinic served the community from a mobile container, also praised the nurses for their dedication, despite working in an under-resourced situation.
The construction of the new brick and mortar clinic, which is among the first to be built with a back-up generator, started in 2013.
It has 18 consultation rooms, an emergency room, drug storeroom, linen room, counselling room and waiting area with an open reception.
The Slovoville Clinic, Mayor Tau said, will go a long way in providing comprehensive reproductive and antenatal services to patients.
The clinic will serve a population of 8 000 in a remote area that consists of RDP houses, a mining complex and mining hostel.
The area is situated in the south of Soweto, and was named after Joe Slovo – a struggle stalwart who went on to become the first Minister of Housing of the new democratic South Africa