Updated 30 April 2016

Relief for medical staff who were forced to keep clinic clean

Breipaal Clinic outside Kuruman has been without a cleaner since last August, forcing nurses to trade their stethoscopes for mops!


One Northern Cape clinic recently spent about nine months without a cleaner, forcing nurses to trade their stethoscopes for mops. Now, the Northern Cape Department of Health has stepped in to help.

Made all the difference

The Breipaal Clinic in Douglas, Northern Cape lost its clinic cleaner in August 2015 and what followed was not pretty, according to new mom Sherly Isaacs.

Isaacs and her young son attend the clinic frequently for check-ups and immunisations. She described the condition of the facility's floor as "unbearable" and said she refuses to let her son crawl on the floor.

Read: Poor service also at private hospitals

"I sit him on my lap all the time," she said. "There are bloodstains on the floor. It is so unhygienic. I can't let my baby crawl around and play in such conditions."

In early April, Health-e News reported on the state of the clinic, where nurses had allegedly been forced to clean after-hours to keep the clinic in a usable state. Now, the Northern Cape Department of Health has finally filled the vacant cleaner position. 

'They actually care' 

The recent appointment of cleaner Rijuaan Bacon has already made all the difference to already overworked nurses, according to patient Charlene September.

Read: Overworked nurses cause serious errors

"(The clinic) is cleaner, and the staff do not seem as exhausted as they used to be," she said. "It's good to see that after we complained the department of health stepped in.

"It shows us they actually care," she added.

Bacon has worked as a cleaner at Cape Town's Somerset Hospital as well as at Kimberley Provincial Hospital. He said he was grateful to accept the position at the Douglas clinic as it offered him and his children more stability. -Health-e News

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