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Lawley gogos welcome new clinic

 

The wide and toothless smile on Gogo Belinda Malefane’s face said it all.

The 73-year-old chronic asthma sufferer could not hide her joy at the opening of the new R5-million clinic right at her doorstep in Lawley Extension 2, south of Johannesburg, earlier today.

For her, the new clinic, officially opened by Johannesburg Executive Mayor Councillor Parks Tau brought to an end the dreaded prospects of having to visit the temporary healthcare facility housed in a shipping container that the City’s Health Department had provided to service the area of more than 60 000 residents. Chief among her gripes was that the container did not offer the much-needed doctor-patient privacy. She said it was sometimes difficult to discuss her ailments with the doctor while other patients were within earshot.

“To tell you the truth, I’m so happy to have this new clinic,” Gogo Malefane said. “The challenge is to make sure it works. As long as healthcare personnel do their job, we will be happy.”

Anna Nomadumo, 64, another long-time resident of Lawley, recalled the days when the City used a mobile clinic to service the area.

“It may have taken a long time but we now have a fully-fledged modern clinic. This goes to show that the City has the interest of this community at heart,” said Gogo Nomadumo. Gogos Julia Mamonyane, 65, and Anna Mokoena, 62, were also elated at having a clinic at their doorstep. They, however, challenged the City to employ nurses and doctors who would have the interests of the patients at heart and service the community properly.

“From our experience at the temporary healthcare facility we used to use, there was only one nurse – a coloured lady – who did her job diligently. The rest dragged their feet. As a result, queues grew longer and longer. You only got to see a doctor after waiting for a very, very long time,” said Gogo Mokoena.

Speaking on the sidelines of the official opening of the clinic, Johannesburg Member of the Mayoral Committee for Health and Social Development Councillor Nonceba Molwele described the clinic as “ideal in depressed area”.

She said the clinic met all the requirements of the National Health Insurance (NHI) announced by Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi. She said one of the City’s major priorities was to “equalise” services for all its residents.

MMC Molwele said the new clinic would not only help to restore people’s dignity but would also offer comprehensive healthcare and assist local residents deal with communicable and non-communicable diseases.