The Cipla Foundation, in collaboration with the Greater Tygerberg Partnership has launched a new community-based healthcare hub at the Bellville taxi rank that will provide primary healthcare services, eyecare and a chronic medicine pick-up point to the scores of commuters that pass through this area on a daily basis.
Paul Miller, CEO of Cipla Medpro, said: "This Bellville healthcare hub comprises an eyecare unit; a Chronic Dispensing Unit (CDU) pick-up point and a double nursing surgery - with capacity to treat 80 patients per day - that will be managed and run by Mandisa Swart, a qualified nurse with more than 10 years' experience who is part of Cipla Foundation's Sha'p Left initiative. Sha'p Left is a containerised healthcare solution developed by the Cipla Foundation.
"The convenient CDU allows patients on chronic medication to collect their medication at the hub while in transit to work or going home. The eyecare facility has been established with the help of well-known optometrists who were looking for an opportunity to get involved in community initiatives, and we felt that it was a good fit to include this group in the Bellville project," said Miller.
The Greater Tygerberg Partnership CEO, Warren Hewitt, says there is a dire need for a centrally-located primary healthcare unit in the Bellville CBD. "The Bellville central business district is densely populated, with commuters making over 400,000 trips each day. While there are over 250 medical facilities in the area, the volume of people means that the existing healthcare facilities and clinics are already operating at capacity. We therefore wanted to introduce a new facility that could be rolled out quickly, and which could service the basic healthcare needs of a significant number of patients, offering a fee-for-service option to patients.
"Sha'p Left's containerised healthcare solution is ideal for our needs in the Bellville area as it has a fast turnaround time with regards to deployment (two weeks) and also offers flexibility to expand the operation as needed in the future."
The hub also offers a range of primary healthcare consultations as well as services such as family planning, woman's health and basic disease management.
Dan Plato, Executive Mayor of Cape Town said: "As a Caring City, the City of Cape Town recognises the right of every citizen to access health care when they need it. The Sha'p Left initiative complements the services already provided by city healthcare facilities. We welcome the contributions made by private companies and organisations who have assisted in this initiative in the Bellville CBD."
Site manager and on-duty nurse at the healthcare hub, Mandisa Swart, said, about her role there: "While I was working at various different government clinics, I realised that there is a really big gap to fill in terms of providing healthcare services. Patients often cannot be seen at a time and a place that is convenient for them. This healthcare hub fills that gap because it is situated in a convenient area and patients can make appointments for a time that suits them. I have always had a passion for starting my own business and I believe that this will allow me to make a massive difference in my own life and in the Bellville community," says Swart.
Miller says that the central location of the Bellville healthcare hub provides patients with convenient access to quality healthcare without disrupting their daily lives. "We chose this site specifically because it is at a transport node with incredibly high volumes of people passing through on their way to and from work. This facility enables people to quickly pick up their chronic medication or have a healthcare consultation without having to go out of their way or take time off from their jobs.
"The Bellville healthcare hub is the latest in our ongoing efforts to make healthcare accessible to all South Africans in keeping with our ethos of Caring for Life," said Miller.