Decade long wait for Rouxville clinic

The newly opened Rouxville Clinic

The long wait is over for residents of Lerole Lea Thunya Township in Rouxville, Free State. They finally have a functional clinic. Previously, Health-e reported that the community referred to the old clinic as a ‘deep freezer’. The conditions were less than ideal to provide and receive health services. 

The opening of the clinic last week by the Free State premier, Mxolisi Dukwana, and the Health MEC, Mathabo Leeto was met with elation by residents. 

Masello Modipa, 78, has watched contractors come and go over the past ten years. 

“The old clinic was just a two-room building with a container and we were subjected to cold weather,” she said. “I always prayed to have this clinic finished so we could be assisted in a private place and near to us.  Before you had to travel to town for medication collection due to the decaying state of the old clinic.”

Over R51 million was spent on the clinic that has 3 consultation rooms, 2 wards, a dispensary, kitchen , reception and waiting area. 

Corruption is the culprit

The MEC for Health in the Free State, Mathabo Leeto apologised on behalf of government.

She said the construction of the new clinic was one of many projects ‘which were the cash cow of corrupt leaders.’ “From the look of things, the Rouxville clinic saga was surrounded by corruption which was spearheaded by politicians. They made sure the community struggled while they chow money, while there was no work happening,” she said.

She applauded the patience of the community throughout the years. “We’ve had three if not four administrations in the Free State since the beginning of the clinic. We have never seen the community block the roads in protest. I apologise that it took you so long to get a decent facility.”

Local members of Bophelo Baka, an organisation working with people living with HIV, are satisfied that the clinic is now operational.  Disebo Mosidi told Health-e News the community was subjected to inhumane treatment due to the lack of privacy at the old clinic. “We used to take tests under the trees.  Our people would be subjected to shameful situations daily because there were no big or private rooms. The government should put people first to ensure that projects are completed within an agreed time,” said Mosidi.

Dukwana  called on contractors to resist working with corrupt leaders.

“Name and shame corrupt government officials who solicit bribes from you. You cannot pay them half of the money you got and expect to finish the job. We as government expect you to deliver as per agreement.”

Dukwana said the community of Rouxville has grown three times since a decade ago, and will need a bigger facility. “This community needs another clinic because this facility was built for a much smaller community. To avoid congestion we have to have another facility built here,” he said.-Health-e News


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