Patients at the Ravensmead Clinic are concerned they will have to travel to Elsies River while the clinic is upgraded. CREDIT: Leon Lestrade

The Ravensmead Community health centre will get a much needed upgrade, but now mense are complaining that they will have to travel a long distance to the neighbouring Elsies River health facility while their centre is closed for a month.

Graham Lindhorst, chairman of the Sub-District Health Forum, under whom the Ravensmead health centre falls, expressed outrage at this decision.

“We are aware that a notice went up informing all of us that the centre will be closed from Monday onwards,” Lindhorst tells the Cape Argus.

He said he was told by the secretary of the health committee of the provincial department of health that there was never meaningful engagement with the health committee or the community.

“We are angry with this decision because it forces the sick to go to other clinics and it’s a distance problem and a safety issue because we are all aware of the crime in Elsies River and Uitsig,” he said.

Ravensmead Community Health Care Centre offers primary health care to patients with HIV/AIDS and TB-related treatment care and support.

They also have a community based health care program and provide HIV counselling and testing.

“We cannot allow them to close their doors.

“We have sent a notice to the authorities informing them of our plight,” Lindhorst said.

He said that the committee refused to seek any alternative arrangements for patients who will be forced to walk far to seek health care. “I found their refusal very arrogant” Lindhorst said.

The Health Committee secretary Rose Mabolo said that everything was under control.

“The reason why we have decided to close the building while they upgrade the building because will be dangerous for patients,” she said