Groundbreaking progress has been made in recent weeks, which will see the integration of Saxon Sea- and Protea Park Clinics into Provincial Health Service. As part of strengthening the primary healthcare services in Atlantis and surrounds, the Western Cape Department of Health and Wellness, in collaboration with an Atlantis Task Team have made great strides towards integrating these healthcare services.
In a four-page document, named “Plan for improved patient experience in Atlantis and surrounds”, several steps are outlined on how to turn the tide on years of limited facilities and poor service delivery. The Task Team is working collectively towards transferring these two clinics to the management of the Department with effect from 1 July 2023, as part of a continuing process to have a fully-fledged comprehensive primary health care service in area. Once the transfer is done, the next steps will be to operationalise the services to enable a comprehensive service offering. Natalie Watlington, a spokesperson for the department, said that further developments will be shared at a planned health summit within a month, at which point official updates by all concerned will be shared.
According to Joy Davids, a spokesperson for the task team, they have played a significant role from the onset and was instrumental in applying pressure on the City and Western Cape Government to get to this point. “This was a milestone for Atlantis and the ongoing participation of various community stakeholders to unlock various services at the hospital and move them to clinics to render much needed services,” she explained. Davids said the task team should ideally remain in place until the MEC of Health in the Western Cape adheres to the demands of the community, including a new hospital for the area.
Allison Adams, one of several local activists who has been working tirelessly towards better local healthcare, said this is a service that is long overdue, and it comes as a great relief knowing that it is finally going to materialise. “Over the last thirty years, there have been many who fought for better healthcare in Atlantis. As with many other burning issues, countless meetings with various stakeholders would eventually go cold, only for the next group to step in and try again. So getting the commitment in writing was crucial. This will ensure that the process does not get dragged out for another three years. Many who have paved the way for us will not be here to see our primary healthcare clinics opening in Atlantis. We are grateful for their efforts and contributions, which played a vital role in leading up to where we are now,” she explained.