With the rapid rise in COVID-19 infections and announcement of the Third Wave, the Western Cape Department of Health needs to act responsibly by reducing the amount of patient contact in our facilities.In doing so, the Department must change how we provide healthcare services. This means certain non-emergency service will be scaled down. Changes in the current service delivery offering may include (depending on local context):
Non-urgent outpatient appointments will be postponed, and patients given alternative dates;
Non-urgent elective surgery will be postponed, and patients provided with a later date;
Patients who are in hospital but are stable will be discharged for further management at home or at an intermediate care facility;
Outreaches from Districts and Regional hospitals will be suspended; and
Patients are urged to only access the Emergency Centre for emergencies. Non-emergencies to access healthcare services at nearest clinic.
Emergency services that will continue:
High risk obstetric clinic;
Limited eyecare and eye surgery; and
Allied health for emergency cases.
Scaled down services at primary health care clinics:
Medication will be given for longer periods where possible;
Outreaches will be postponed;
Non-urgent appointments will be postponed and given an alternative date;
Dental services limited to emergencies only;
Eyecare services limited to emergencies only; and
The following services will continue with strict safety protocols in place:
MOU’s (midwife obstetric units) will continue to operate.
Limited medication delivery to stable chronic patients;
Essential services will continue, such as TB and HIV screening and treatment, chronic care, family planning, immunisations, and antenatal and postnatal care;
We understand this might be an inconvenience to some, but it is important to remember why we are doing this – to ensure we have sufficient capacity to provide emergency medical care to those with life-threatening conditions and those who are admitted with COVID-19.
Over the course of the last 15 months, our Department has been through many innovative changes and we adapted to serve our clients’ needs whether in hospital or outside. With your support, we can continue taking care of our citizens’ health needs.