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25 June 2024


The Western Cape Department of Health and Wellness want to ensure that your visit to your local clinic is safe and comfortable amidst cold and wet winter conditions.

Healthcare facilities across the province have appointment systems in place to ensure that you can cut down on longer waiting times. Avoid unnecessarily exposing yourself to the early morning cold by only coming to your clinic or community day centre (‘day hospital’) when the facility is open between 07:30 and 16:00 or 30 minutes before your appointment.

If you are unhappy with your experience at your local clinic, please report it to the correct channels, such as your facility manager, the facility suggestion box, your health committee or reaching out to the provincial client support centre to share your concerns.

Here are more ways that we can stay warm and safe this winter:
1. Avoid queues: Reduce early queueing in cold and wet conditions by making use of the appointment system. By scheduling your visit, you can ensure a smoother experience upon arrival.

2. Arrive on time: Arriving on time not only helps us to manage queues but can reduce waiting times for others. If you cannot attend your appointment and need to reschedule, please reach out to your clinic to set a new date.

3. Prioritising vulnerable groups: We understand the importance of protecting our vulnerable patients, such as the elderly and children during cold weather. We ask for your understanding as we prioritise their needs on bad weather days.

4. Safety first: Your safety is important to us. Queueing in the dark poses a security risk, and we encourage visitors to arrive at the facility at least 30 minutes before their appointment, whenever possible. This precautionary measure ensures visibility and enhances overall safety.

5. Speak to us, be heard: Your feedback matters. Whether it's concerns about long queues or discomfort during cold weather conditions. Provide suggestions how we can improve services. We are committed to listening and improving our services. Help us serve you better by sharing your feedback with our facility managers through the following channels:

  • SMS: Send the word "Help" followed by your name, the nature of your suggestion or complaint, facility, and, if applicable, the name of a staff member to 31022.
  • Call: Dial 0860 142 142 and press "1" to speak with a representative.
  • Please Call Me: Reach out via 079 769 1207, and we'll promptly assist you.
  • Email: Send your concerns to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and we'll address them with care and urgency.
  • Share anonymous feedback: Share your concerns by adding your name or remaining anonymous. Simply add your feedback to your facility’s suggestion or complaints box.

What about accessing emergency care?
You can access emergency care at your local hospital. Remember, we follow the triage system. This means that when you enter a facility, they are assessed and triaged to ensure that they are seen according to the degree of urgency their condition requires. Patients are triaged green, yellow, orange or red, with red representing being the most urgent cases. If you are triaged yellow and green and you do not require a life-saving intervention, this could mean that you will have a much longer waiting time if visiting a facility’s emergency centre, especially when it is very busy over weekends and after hours. Find your closest facility here:

Keeping healthy at home this winter
In addition to preparing for your visit, it's important to protect your overall health during the colder month. Remember to stay proactive by getting your flu vaccine at a private service provider and making healthy choices to keep your immune system strong. “Prevention is better that cure, as antibiotics are not effective against viral infections like flu. The body must fight and overpower the virus to cure,” says Pharmacist Liana Horn. “Ensure that you assist your body in all the ways we recommend, to protect you from serious illness.” Here are some additional tips for staying healthy this winter, including simple steps you can take at home:

  • Practice good hygiene: Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after coughing, sneezing, or touching common surfaces. Use hand sanitiser if soap and water are not available. Remember to assist children by teaching them the importance of keeping their hands clean.
  • Stay active: Exercise regularly to boost your immune system and improve overall health. Even simple activities like walking or stretching can make a difference. Join a community wellness group, if you are able to.
  • Eat a balanced diet: Take care of your body with healthy foods. Eating a variety of nutrient-rich foods can help support your immune system. If you require support, please speak to a healthcare worker.
  • Stay hydrated: Drinking water throughout the day protects your health. Aim to drink at least 8 glasses of water per day.
  • Get plenty of rest: Prioritise sleep and aim for 8 hours of quality sleep each night. A well-rested body is better equipped to fight infections.
  • Manage stress: Find healthy ways to cope with stress, speak to someone you trust if you’re feeling stressed or engage in hobbies you enjoy. If you need to speak to someone, remember you can reach out to a healthcare worker.
  • Take your medication: It is important to continue taking your medication, even if you are feeling better. Take your medication as discussed with your healthcare provider. If you have any questions about your medication, remember to reach out, speak to your healthcare provider or call your clinic.

This way you can help yourself stay healthy and safe this winter.