Parliament considers proposal for 24-hour clinics

All health clinics could soon be open 24 hours a day and seven days a week That's if the health department has its way. The Department has told Parliament's Health Committee of plans to amend the National Health Act. Committee Chairperson Sibongiseni Dhlomo speaks to eNCA. Courtesy #DStv403

PARLIAMENT - A number of factors need to be considered before all clinics can stay open for 24 hours according to Parliament's Health Committee chairperson Sibongiseni Dhlomo.

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Dhlomo said some clinics have already been offering a 24-hour services but heard a private members' bill in parliament on Friday seeking to amend the National Health Act to require health facilities to remain open for 24 hours.

The committee chairperson said changes would be implemented in an incremental manner, based on resources.

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Dhlomo said, "there is a whole lot of issues that need to be looked into prior to doing this overhaul. We are doing it incrementally, step-by-step, but it has to be a legislative process to really say 24-hours for all facilities. So now, what is happening those that are there are able to assist. You have to cost human resources, cost the expansion of the buildings and a variety of other issues so the proposal that came with the member did not have that." 

Dhlomo said preparations have to be made before legislation is instituted.