Seshego Treatment Centre services hampered by absence of dedicated doctor

The DA in Limpopo has written to the MEC for Social Development, Nandi Ndalane, to urgently appoint a doctor dedicated to the Seshego Treatment Centre and to address the persistent low admission rate.

On the recent oversight visit with the Limpopo Legislature Portfolio Committee of Social Development to Seshego Treatment Centre, we were briefed that the centre does not have a dedicated doctor and currently depends on a doctor who is stationed in Botlokwa Hospital. This has led to instances where the doctor cannot attend to the treatment centre due to other commitments.

The issue is further compounded by the fact that when the doctor is available, he can only attend to 5 patients for examination and admission per visit. This has led to a backlog on admitting new cases by the department due its failures to station a doctor on a daily basis. At the end of August there was a waiting list of 83 cases for new admission.

The low admission rate problem at Seshego Treatment Centre is so dire that the department has set an admission annual target of only 50 patients, despite the centre having a bed capacity of 72. The centre has always had a trend of low admission in the previous years. There has also been a concerning decline in the province’s target for Substance Abuse Treatment Services from 500 in 2021/22 to 350 in 2022/23.

The Centre, which was meant to be completed in 2011, has only been operational since the end of 2018 and was established to offer much needed assistance for those admitted for substance abuse treatment, rehabilitation programmes and to assist people through outpatient treatment services.

We have previously raised concerns over the underutilisation of the centre and the need to address the absence of a doctor, low admission, poor maintenance of the facility, underspending of the available budget and vacant posts in order to try and arrest the growing substance abuse problem in the province.

The DA cares about the well-being of communities and believes the Limpopo Department of Social Development needs to strengthen efforts in dealing with substance abuse in the province by addressing these issues and improving the services offered at the Centre.

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