Nkanga villagers overjoyed with new NHI clinic
Hundreds of villagers erupted in ululation as their state-of-the-art clinic was officially opened in Nkanga village in Libode on Friday.
The Nkanga clinic is one of eight National Health Insurance (NHI) clinics in the OR Tambo district and one of five multimillion-rand clinics that will be opened in November by the provincial health department.
For decades the villagers’ clinic evolved from homestead rondavels to temporary structures.
The residents described the R28m clinic as their mini-hospital, saying it would go a long way in improving their lives.
They said the construction of the clinic was a welcome relief since their previous clinic was in a dire state.
Manjilo Craig said their old clinic would sometimes run out medicine, leading to patients being turned away.
“We don’t have any hassles now when we visit this new clinic. There’s directions for where one needs to go, in order to get the required service, unlike before,” Craig said.
She said now they had to wake up early to queue at the clinic, as villagers from other areas flock to their well-equipped clinic.
Khuliswa Sonjica said on rainy days they would have queued outside and got drenched.
“This one is well equipped and we are happy. We even have waiting rooms. We always struggled to get an ambulance to come to this area, but now we have one here at the clinic,” she said.
AmaMpondo aseNyandeni King Ndamase Ndamase lauded the government for its effort in bringing services to the people in remote areas.
“It’s hard for us as motorists to go to town because of the state of the roads here. It was even harder for the villagers. This clinic is in a perfect location,” Ndamase said.
The other four NHI pilot clinics to be opened in the district are Nolitha in Libode, and Gengqe, Sakhela and Luthubeni in King Sabata Dalindyebo municipality.
Health MEC Sindiswa Gomba said the clinic complied with the standards of the NHI.
She said the clinic was equipped to deal with HIV and Aids, TB and mental problems among other services.
“What is important is that our people get the help they need.
“Our clinics normally have staff shortages. However there is no shortage at this one — it has management, cleaners and everybody,” Gomba said.
“This clinic will lay to rest the worries residents had before, of medicine running out. The dispensary is well stocked and that is how NHI clinics need to operate.”
President Cryil Ramaphosa, a few weeks ago, opened the Lusikisiki village clinic, and health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize opened the Maxwell and Lotana clinics in September as part of the pilot clinics for NHI.
“All the clinics will abide with exactly how they are designated to operate.”
The five clinics cost about R122m to build.
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