Health department not batting an eyelid

Cynthia Brenner, Tafelsig

This is an open letter to Mayor Patricia de Lille and Premier Helen Zille

It saddens me to bring this to your attention.

I have been trying to get through to you via the radio station Heart 104.9FM but without success.

We are senior citizens, aged between 70 and 80, who applied for glasses more than a year ago at Carnation Ward, in Lentegeur.

We were given a date for March 2016 for screening but since then we are still waiting.

Why is it that in other areas, like Durbanville, people only wait three to four weeks?

I had a bitter incident, in which I burned the front of my stomach with boiling water because of my bad eyesight.

When we get through to the clinic, we are kept on hold or they put the phone down.

You are our last hope.

Marika Champion, director of communications for the Western Cape government’s Department of Health, responds:

The Western Cape Government Health (WCGH) regrets the bad experience of the complainant.

Both the Southern Western and Klipfontein Mitchell’s Plain substructures have had problems with the previous service provider.

They were not delivering the spectacles to clients and the facilities were experiencing a major backlog.

Facilities were instructed to no longer give appointment dates until the new service provider was appointed.

The previous service provider is being taken to task and their contract has been cancelled.

In the meantime, they have been given until the end of February to address the backlog. A new service provider has been appointed to serve the clients in those substructures. Unfortunately, many of the old appointments and prescriptions remain unfilled.

We suggest Ms Brenner makes an appointment with the new service provider at Carnation Ward.

The new service provider will visit every two weeks and will attend to a maximum of 45 patients only.

After being screened the client will receive his or her spectacles two weeks later between 8am and 9am.

Depending on which phase of the process she is in, if the spectacles have been ordered, she should either wait for the backlog with the old service provider to be cleared – and the delivery of her specs, or make an appointment with the new service provider to initiate the process.

Her mail says that they were “given a date for a screening” but it is not clear whether the specs were ordered.

For us to be able to trace this, we require the name, identity number and or the folder number of the client.

WCGH apologises for the inconvenience experienced as a result of the bad service from the service provider.

We encourage the client to approach the facility for assistance if this matter is not resolved soon.