Gugulethu health forum launched

Gugulethu seniors at the launch of Gugulethu Health Forum doing some exercises.

The provision of quality health care for the poor came to the fore when the Gugulethu Health Forum (GHF) was launched at the JL Zwane Centre, on Monday June 11.

The forum will act as a catalyst for the provision of services, facilitate meetings, discussions, monitor and report on health issues.

Health MEC, NomaFrench Mbombo, called on the forum to form health clubs and work closely with her department.

“We want these committees and forums to be the ears and eyes of government. It is important to have them to raise issues. But they also need to form health clubs. We have a range of illnesses that we can avoid by being part of clubs. So the sector needs to encourage people to change their lifestyle,” said Ms Mbombo.

She was also forced to respond to issues such as under-staffing at KTC Clinic as well as under-resourced health committees, staff behaviour and poor administration at certain health care facilities.

The GHF also called for the establishment of a hospital in the area. Since the closure of GF Jooste Hospital, in 2012, the forum said residents were forced to travel long distances to access health services.

Ms Mbombo said plans were afoot to build a hospital in the area, but availability of land made things difficult.

She said the national government tried to resuscitate GF Jooste Hospital and negotiations to get a suitable site continued .

She said the new hospital would have 600 beds with different health disciplines.

Ms Mbombo admitted that KTC CHC was understaffed, but said that did not justify misbehaviour by staff. “These (nurses) are your children,” she said.

“We have values that talks about caring and they (nurses) are fully aware of that.” Ms Mbombo said not all nurses were bad and called for “bad apples” to be removed from the health sector.

“All we need to do is to report them so we can make examples about those bad ones,” she said. Gugulethu Development Forum secretary, Vincent Domingo, said the sector would work closely with the department. However, he said Gugulethu required a hospital, especially for seniors.