Construction of R25m 4th Avenue Clinic gets under way

Sod-turning ceremony for the new 4th Avenue ClinicHealth and Social Development MMC Nonceba Molwele (crouching, centre) and Ambe Maseko, Helen Joseph Ward 107 councillor (3rd from left) with local residents at the sod-turning ceremony for the new 4th Avenue Clinic in Alexandra. (Photo: Elias Nkabinde)

The City of Johannesburg's drive to provide healthcare facilities within a 5km radius of all communities is gaining momentum, with construction getting under way on a new multi-million rand clinic in Alexandra.

Helen Joseph Ward 107 councillor Ambe MasekoHelen Joseph Ward 107 councillor Ambe Maseko (right) believes the new clinic will make a huge difference to the local community. (Photo: Elias Nkabinde)Residents of Alexandra turned out in numbers to witness Nonceba Molwele, MMC for Health and Social Development, leading the sod-turning ceremony for the new 4th Avenue Clinic on Tuesday, 14 June.

The existing clinic will be demolished to make way for a larger, modernised facility capable of accommodating larger volumes of patients and providing a wider range of services.

The R25-million project is being overseen by the Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA).

Existing facility 'unable to cope with demand'

Speaking at the ceremony, MMC Molwele said the project was motivated by "the increased demand for a primary healthcare services", with rapid urbanisation making the existing facility inadequate to service Alex's burgeoning population.

"This clinic was not only serving Alexandra's 107 and 108 wards, but was serving the surrounding communities as well," MMC Molwele said. "Wards 107 and 108 alone have a population of 53 000 people.

"When you consider the surrounding areas, this number is largely increased, and this is why 4th Avenue Clinic's six consulting rooms did not have the capacity to serve the community."

New facility 'fully compliant with NHI norms'

The existing facilityThe existing facility is no longer capable of meeting demand. The new 4th Ave Clinic is the fourth clinic that the JDA is currently upgrading or rebuilding in Alex. (Photo: Elias Nkabinde)The redevelopment will see 4th Avenue Clinic upgraded from six to 18 consulting rooms. As a free primary healthcare centre, it will also comply with the norms and standards of the National Health Insurance (NHI), the government's ambitious blueprint for delivering quality, affordable healthcare to all South Africans.

"Not only will the clinic be larger, but it will be a modern, state-of-the-art clinic; it will serve all the needs of the community members that come to it."

According to the MMC, construction of the new clinic is scheduled for completion in early 2017.

Helen Joseph Ward 107 councillor Ambe Maseko said the clinic would make a huge difference to the lives of the local community.

People 'won't have to start queuing at 5am'

"This clinic is desperately needed, because previously our people would start waiting outside the clinic from as early as 5am, leaving them vulnerable to crime", Maseko said.

"I know of instances of woman getting their handbags, money and even food stolen by criminals because they would have no choice but to wait outside the clinic during the early hours of the morning.

"This is why I am excited to see the redeveloped clinic fully functional and running so our people can have better access to health care."

Together with the Thoko Mngoma, River Park and 18th Avenue clinics, the 4th Avenue Clinic makes it to four clinics that the JDA is currently upgrading or rebuilding in Alexandra.