The Gauteng Premier, David Makhura, reflected on the recent report by the National Department of Health at his State of the Province address, highlighting that 71% of Gauteng clinics have achieved ideal clinic status – that means, they open on time, have good infrastructure, adequate supplies of medicines, clean and staffed by healthcare professionals that practice the “Batho Pele” principles. Despite the indisputable advancements made at improving access to healthcare services, with the Gauteng province running the biggest healthcare system in Southern Africa that caters for over twenty million visits per annum, a bigger need remains.2
Philips and Rhiza launched a mobile “Health clinic on wheels” in May 2015, to service the Diepsloot community. The main goal of the clinic was to provide access to healthcare services, particularly access to maternal-child healthcare and dental care to the residents of Diepsloot.
Now, almost three years since its inception, the mobile clinic programme has grown from strength to strength and is currently serving 1500 patients a month, in Cosmo City and 1500 in Diepsloot with a Mini-Community Life Centre, further impacting the lives of 25,000 direct beneficiaries.
“We have seen that the compliment to the existing structures delivers good health outcomes for the communities we have partnered with since 2015, and we have seen the mobile clinic format improve access for some of the most vulnerable in our communities,” said Ntutule Tshenye, General Manager, Philips South Africa. “The solution is a scalable, self-sufficient concept for primary healthcare delivery and social development that Philips is pioneering in Africa.”
Community-based healthcare is a way to address the needs of people who currently don’t have access to basic, quality healthcare and in turn facilitate community development. “The facility goes beyond health to improve the quality of life of the population living in Orange Farm Community, says Tshenye. “Next to the clinic, the community will have access to a business hub where young people will receive training, mentorship and will have the use of the hub as an office space for their businesses.”
“The Orange Farm mobile clinic is the fifth collaborative project between Philips and Rhiza,” says Alef Meulenberg, Chairman of Rhiza. “As a non-profit organisation we pride ourselves in developing historically disadvantaged communities through a holistic approach that includes education, skills development, enterprise development and healthcare; and we have seen this passion translate into improved communities.”