The National Council of Provinces (NCOP) was shocked to learn that Zastron had the largest prevalence of psychiatric patients in the Xhariep District with Matlakeng Clinic among the top six anti-retroviral (ARV) dispensers in the province.
The delegation visited Matlakeng Clinic and Embekweni Hospital in Zastron – the seat of Mohokare Municipality – on Tuesday this week as part of pre-visits in preparation for the upcoming NCOP Taking Parliament to the People to be held in the Free State in August.
Matlakeng Clinic caters for a population of 14 091 patients, 1 758 of whom are on anti-retroviral treatment. The clinic operates for eight hours a day with after-hours patients being referred to Embekweni Hospital.
However, the delegation was happy to hear that all is not doom and gloom at Matlakeng as the clinic’s medicinal stock is always over 90 percent and they have a dietician and a sauna machine with a trained operator onsite.
Other services provided regularly at the clinic include oral health (five days a week) and a medical doctor (four times a week). The dietician is available two days a week at the clinic and does community outreach on the other three days. The ambulance call centre is centralised but each town has its own ambulance.
The delegation was also told that the HIV-positive babies treated at the clinic were mostly born in Lesotho or Sterkspruit and they have a 100 percent participation in the prevention of mother to child transmission of the virus by their pregnant patients living with the virus.
The clinic experiences minor challenges mainly with regard to maintenance and occasional vandalism but no serious, life-threatening incidents.
They do not have air conditioners and there are no employees to clean or maintain the garden. For small maintenance jobs like fixing taps, they are assisted by Embekweni Hospital. Unfortunately, two break-ins at the clinic this year have resulted in the manager’s computers being stolen.
NCOP delegates, divided into four groups, are visiting the Xhariep District conducting oversight on health issues from today.
The visits will culminate in four public meetings on Thursday when the delegates will interface with residents in the district to hear about their service delivery challenges.