The proposed amendments to the Cannabis for Private Purposes bill that seeks to further decriminalise cannabis usage and legalise South…
by Dr Roy Jankielsohn MPL – Leader of the Opposition in the Free State
An oversight inspection by the DA to the Bakenpark Clinic in Bethlehem revealed a shockingly dilapidated healthcare infrastructure in an advanced state of decay, with temporary measures so inferior that the level of care is inhumane.
Ironically, in both its decay and the treatment of patients, this clinic mirrors the image of the state of the Free State provincial government.
The original clinic was meant to be reconstructed, but after the death of the contractor, this project has been abandoned for almost two years and has subsequently become vandalised and reached an advanced state of decay. The building boasts collapsed ceilings, damaged walls and door frames as well as broken windows. It also shows clear signs of poor construction. In the meantime, residents waiting for clinic services are being housed in a military tent outside an outbuilding which is being used as a clinic at the local Phekolong Hospital.
Patients at the mobile tent indicated that some of them have been waiting for services from as early as 06:00 in the morning at sub-zero temperatures and by 16:00 had not yet received assistance, despite having appointments. The tent, with its collapsed side, is not conducive for the healthcare of patients during one of the coldest winters yet. Meanwhile, the Bakenpark Community Hall remains under-utilised during Covid-19 lockdown and could have been equipped as a temporary clinic.
Replies by the MEC for Health to questions by the DA in the Free State Legislature, indicate that construction of the clinic would reconvene in the second quarter of this financial year, but to date there is no sign of movement on the site.
It remains clear that the residents are once again victims of an uncaring ANC-run government and a failed state.
The DA will continue to drive this issue in the Free State Legislature to ensure that residents receive adequate healthcare services in a safe environment. The best solution is for voters to give a mandate to the DA by voting us into government. Only the DA is equipped to get things done.