Practise patience

Dr William Langenhoven of the Mitchell's Plain District Hospital and DA member of the provincial legislature, Ricardo Mackenzie.

Ricardo Mackenzie, DA member of the provincial legislature

The concerns raised by the Mitchell’s Plain community about long queues and unprofessional behaviour, from staff, outside the Mitchell’s Plain District Hospital’s screening and testing centre, refer.

I conducted an unannounced visit to the hospital on Monday May 18 and met Dr William Langenhoven, head of the testing centre.

He assured me that they were doing everything in their power to fast-track individuals coming through but one must be mindful of the risks involved given that we are dealing with a virus with no cure.

You also have to be sensitive to individuals as people are scared.

He assured me that the staff are not rude but sometimes individuals want to
rush through and jump the queue and security must ensure fairness for all.

I urge the people of Mitchell’s Plain to be patient when they visit the testing centre and assure them of the utmost professionalism of the staff at the testing centre.

I urge the community to continue to be vigilant, stay home and let’s stop the spread and flatten the curve.

I also still notice some parts of Mitchell’s Plain like The Farm where people still walk in the street and children play in parks without masks.

I urge the parents to ensure the well-being of their children and their families by staying indoors and protecting their health.

I know it is not easy because many of our communities live in abject poverty but we must ensure the health of our loved ones.

I want to thank the community for their actions over the past few weeks to help stop the spread and will continue to work and conduct unannounced visits at the testing site to ensure professional standards are adhered to.

I urge the community to call 021 834 5159 or 021 834 5152 with any Covid-19 queries.

For their results they can call 021 377 4412.

They are also welcome to contact the provincial 24-hour hotline on 021 928 4102.

Dr William Langenhoven, senior medical officer at Mitchells Plain District Hospital, responds:

No official complaints have been directed to the hospital regarding Covid-19 services at the triage and testing tent.

If community members have concerns or compliments, then we encourage clients to use the Western Cape Government Health’s official complaints channel via the complaints hotline on 0860 142 142 or send a Please Call Me to 079 769 1207 or email service@westerncape.gov.za in order to have their concerns or queries addressed.

Local transmission of the coronavirus is on the rise and many people are wanting to confirm their Covid-19 health status after showing signs and symptoms and the hospital is having to assist an influx of people wanting to be tested.

The triage and testing tent at the hospital was set up to triage all clients accessing services at the hospital and test people who need to access services and are presenting with symptoms of Covid-19.

It was set up to be used as the main point of entrance to the hospital, as we have to control and prevent the spread of Covid-19 in the hospital.

To help the hospital prevent long queues, we ask that community members who do not require services at the hospital, to please access the Covid-19 screening and testing services at the Mitchell’s Plain Community Health Centre (CHC) or they can access the online screening tool https://coronavirus.westerncape.gov.za/risk-assessment-covid-19

Our staff are trying their best to assist as many clients as possible during this pandemic while ensuring their health is not compromised.

Screening and testing people with suspected coronavirus will take a few minutes per person and community members are encouraged to practise patience with staff and each other while in the queue.