Your health is your responsibility. You can work with healthcare workers to improve services and well-being of your community by joining the local clinic’s committee, or the hospital’s board. The Western Cape Government Department of Health and Wellness has established several Clinic Committees and Hospital Boards to create a platform for community members to proactively volunteer.
As a member of a Clinic Committee or Hospital Board, you can:
- Request feedback on what is being done to improve the quality of service at the facility
- Voice your community’s healthcare needs, concerns and complaints
- Make recommendations or give feedback on service delivery gaps you identify
- Support the facility by activities to benefit the facility, e.g. fundraising
- Mobilise the community to support wellness initiatives
- Participate in meetings and consultations
The Chairperson of Idas Valley Clinic Committee says as a community activist, this committee is exactly the platform that locals like him can use to lobby for change. Mr Maghmoed Kara says being on the committee has helped him gain insight into systems like the basis on which Managers can motivate for additional posts/staff at facilities, and he could share the information with the community. One of the concerns the Idas Valley Clinic Committee is addressing, is the danger of people (patients) crossing a busy road to get to the clinic’s gate, and they are working towards putting up a canopy outside the clinic to shelter patients from weather conditions.
Because of the valuable link the Clinic Committee creates between communities and clinics, the Nduli Clinic Committee identified that there is a need for information to be shared on the dangers of substance abuse. The Committee initiated an event that gathered departments like Health, SAPS, Education, Correctional Services and religious leaders, addressing youth on how substance abuse can impact your health, your ability to finish school, and ultimately whether you spend a life in prison. The Chairperson of Nduli Clinic Committee, Mr Eric Ndwanya says he loves working for the community and being on the Committee gives him the chance to make a difference through events like these, where different role-players work together for healthier communities. “I’d love every community to have a committee/board like this!” says Mr Eric Ndwanya.
In the Cape Winelands District there are 30 active Clinic Committees/Hospital Boards. The Department would like to further increase its engagement with communities and asks that especially people living in Montagu, McGregor, Bonnievale, Gouda and Rawsonville volunteer for service on their healthcare facilities’ committee/board. Residents in this or other areas of the Breede Valley, Drakentein, Langeberg, Stellenbosch or Witzenberg who would like to volunteer can contact the facility for more information.