The Alexandra Clinic has beefed up security to protect its foreign doctors who stayed away over the weekend because of the xenophobic violence, which is why there was no doctor on duty to treat Mozambican Emmanuel Sithole when he was brought there after being attacked on Saturday morning.
I found this out when I visited the clinic yesterday to assess how patients are treated.
The clinic has seven full-time doctors and seven sessional doctors, of whom eight are foreign, mostly from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
It adds to the tragedy that Sithole did not receive prompt treatment that could possibly have saved his life because a foreign doctor was fearful to be at the clinic where he was first taken.
Many foreign doctors do good work treating South Africans in our hospitals and clinics, but they are also vulnerable to xenophobic violence.
Gauteng Health Department and Alexandra Health Clinic
Alexandra Clinic was founded in 1929 as a charitable enterprise, and for many years was reliant on large corporate donors.
They have increasingly relied on a subsidy from the Gauteng Health Department, and were taken over this month by the department which funds them about R53 million this year, and about R20 million for medicines.
I hope that the department increases their staff and facilities as the clinic is struggling to deal with more than 20 000 patients a month. It is estimated that 507 571 people live in the clinic’s catchment area.
It is really sad that the clinic has to spend extra money on security to keep its staff safe from xenophobic violence.
Jack Bloom MPL
DA Constituency Head – Johannesburg East
082 333 4222