Clinic construction kicks off

Nearly four years after construction started at the Pelican Park integrated housing development, building for a new clinic in the area has commenced and residents are elated (“Millions for new clinic,” Southern Mail, May 10).

Just over R46 million will be spent to build the Pelican Park clinic, which will provide primary health services such as maternal and child health, reproductive health, basic antenatal care, as well as adult curative and chronic services.

A sod-turning ceremony was held on Wednesday July 19 at the premises on the corner of Babbler Street and Oystercatcher Road, signalling the start of the City of Cape Town’s flagship construction project for the new financial year.

The City’s Mayco member for area south, Eddie Andrews, said the start of the building is the culmination of years of planning.

“This clinic will be the next layer in the community’s development which started several years ago with the New Horizons housing project. The City is committed to providing quality facilities geared towards service delivery and meeting the needs of our residents. The importance of this cannot be over-emphasised and I look forward to the day that we open the doors to clients for the first time,” said Mr Andrews.

JP Smith, the City’s Mayco member for safety and security and social services, said the project is the biggest undertaken by their health department and if all goes according to plan, should be completed by the end of next year.

“City Health is certainly very proud that we’ve reached this point and I’m hoping that the sense of pride will infect the locals for whom this facility promises easy access to quality healthcare and an improved quality of life,” said Mr Smith.

Three-quarters of the money will be spent on construction and the rest on information systems, technology equipment and furnishing.

Mr Smith said the information system and technology equipment is important for the fast tracking of patient turnaround time. “People queuing from 5am in the morning for a 15 or 20 minute consultation is madness so we’ve invested some of the money doing an IT modernisation process that will fix outdated systems.

“We have launched an IT modernisation project to investigate the introduction of an appointment system to cut long queues and waiting times at clinics, as well as an electronic records system that will allow clients to visit any City clinic as their folder will be available online and not confined to a shelf in a specific clinic,” he said.

Mr Smith also encouraged residents to take responsibility for the new facility and not allow people to vandalise it as was done at the Lotus River clinic, which was closed down after several incidents of vandalism and theft. (“New clinic on the way”, Southern Mail, June 22).

Community worker Layla Ryklief said there is much relief after residents have been raising concerns about the lack of health services in the area for years. “I am elated that the clinic is being built because our people need this service in the community. The reason why this was so important is for the future of our children, so that they can have easy access to health services and have a healthier future because of it,” she said.

“Now we are advocating to have a school and other sports and recreational facilities built in the community,” said Ms Ryklief.

Angie Abrahams from New Horizons said she is excited to have a health facility in Pelican Park. “I am so happy because I had to go all the way to Klip clinic for my children. It’s hard to believe that in a year and a half we will be able to walk to the new facility and get the health services we need,” said Ms Abrahams.