The Clinics in the Northern Areas of Nelson Mandela Bay are in crisis, with the Helenvale Clinic closed for over a year and a half due to violent crime in the area.
This has had a catastrophic knock on effect on the Malabar clinic, that has seen its case load double as Helenvale residents turn to them for help.
“On visiting the Malabar clinic, which shares a building with the ward councillor, we found a consultation was taking place in the passageway, while in another area of the building, consultations are being done in a room that also doubles as an office and a tearoom for staff.
Even the ward councillor’s boardroom has been used for consultations,” said Jane Cowley the Democratic Alliance Shadow MEC for Health in the Eastern Cape.
Motherwell is epicentre of the Covid-19 infections in Nelson Mandela Bay with 265 cases, followed by Kwazakhele and Zwide, with 147 and 116 infections, respectively.
The Malabar Clinic is clearly insufficient as a venue, and is also understaffed,” said Cowley.
“The current Covid-19 pandemic has made the situation worse, as only five patients are allowed in at a time, meaning patients are queueing outside at the gate, exposed to the elements.
The staff informed us that they had requested permission from the municipality to make use of the adjoining Malabar Community Hall, even if it was just to be used as a waiting area, but said the request was denied.
The overflow of patients is because the Helenvale Clinic being closed by the Department of Health in October 2018, after the staff there were robbed by gangsters looking for drugs.
While some of the staff have been redeployed to Malabar, others have been sent to other clinics,” added Cowley,
There is a total number of 1 836 coronavirus cases in Nelson Mandela Bay, as of the 9 June, according to the Metro.