WC healthcare services plummet as provincial health response focuses on pandemic
Western Cape Premier Alan Winde says the coronavirus response has severely disrupted general healthcare, mental healthcare, immunisations, and even chronic healthcare services in the province.
Winde says he's concerned that efforts to beat the Covid-19 pandemic could cause the unintended neglect of other diseases.
The premier says the provincial health department will slowly start spreading its resources to focus on the management of other healthcare needs.
If we look at daily immunisations, we are down by 67% so far this year.Alan Winde, Western Cape Premier
Mental healthcare is down by 26%. General patient health is down by 24%.Alan Winde, Western Cape Premier
Chronic care services are down by 32%.Alan Winde, Western Cape Premier
We're putting all of our energy and effort into making sure our health response rate is right for Covid-19, but we're now missing the health response rate that we've put in place for years to mitigate TB, HIV, and even measles.Alan Winde, Western Cape Premier
If we're not getting our immunisation right, is this not going to come back and two-fold or three-fold in six months or a year or two to bite us? We've got to make sure that a balance is in place.Alan Winde, Western Cape Premier
Winde maintains that diabetes is the leading comorbidity associated with Covid-19 deaths, followed by hypertension.
He adds that uncontrolled underlying conditions push the risk of hospitalisation and death even higher.
He's encouraged people to keep treating their chronic illnesses during the lockdown.
Diabetes is the number one comorbidity associated with Covid-19 deaths.Alan Winde, Western Cape Premier
If you've got an underlying condition that's not under control, it really starts to push the risk right up.Alan Winde, Western Cape Premier
The premier also says he's concerned by the reduced compliance levels among Western Cape residents, many of whom are no longer wearing masks or social distancing.
Listen to Premier Alan Winde in conversation with Kieno Kammies:
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