Roadside clinic for trucking community

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Pretoria - KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo will on Friday officially open a roadside clinic in Pongola, which will serve the trucking community along the N2 route and citizens from Swaziland and Mozambique.

The clinic, which will operate on a 24-hour basis, will be used as a referral centre for a nearby truck stop, which was set up four years ago by the Itshelejuba Hospital team. 

The facility currently attends to about 7 000 patients a month, of which 1 750 are foreign nationals from Swaziland and Mozambique. It has also provided much needed healthcare service to farm workers in the Pongola area, in particular maternal and child health services. 

"The clinic, being in the city centre, attracts high demand for all social services such as birth registrations, social grants and application for identity documents. In this regard, government departments are working in a coordinated manner to ensure that clinic attendees all have access to other social services," Dhlomo said. 

Presenting his budget speech last Friday, Dhlomo pointed out that the department was looking to set up HIV, Counselling and Testing mobile structures at taxi ranks, and develop truck stops following the India model, which recognises truck drivers as the backbone of the country's economy.