Tshepo Mmusi
Klerksdorp, Jouberton Township
27 August 2020

The new normal is now in effect and it is impacting negatively to the poor of our community who are dependent on public health care. Because of high numbers of covid 19 infections health care facilities have changed their schedules and members of the community are the ones paying the price. Community clinics have cut the number of days for consultation and people are being subjected to visit the facilities on scheduled dates. Members of the community cannot go to the facilities when they feel sick immediately, they have to wait for their appointment dates and to many is inconvenient because people get sick at any time and their illnesses cannot wait for their appointments.

These measures have been put in place to ensure the safety of health workers but it is seriously disadvantaging the people. These impacts mostly on women, the elderly and children. People who are suffering from chronic illness feel the heat too because many are used to getting their treatment on scheduled week days and a change to visit the facility once in a month and on a specific date is not working for them and many have already missed their appointments and this leads to them to default their treatment and their health conditions worsens.

Meanwhile the department of Health has since built a state of the art health facility in Extension 20, which is gathering dust and not being used to help members of the community. The facility was said to be operational few months ago just after the country went on lockdown. It is believed that the facility is waiting for a grand opening before it can accept patients. How many people must die first before it can be of help to the community?