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Clinic delivery trends : public health clinics in Cape Town Central district
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This is a retrospective (descriptive) study ofclinic delivery trends rendered in Cape Town Central District between July 1995 and June 2002. The study describes the history of clinic service delivery in Cape Town Central District, which includes the Primary Health Care model, as well as the District Health system. Clinic delivery trends for the following three periods are determined: I:] Before the implementation ofthe New Health Plan: July 1995 - July 1996; I:] During the implementation of the New Health Plan: July 1997 - June 1998; I:] After the implementation of the New Health Plan: July 1998 - June 2002. The study also determines and compares the nature ofpublic health clinic services delivered during the study period. No official annual health reports were compiled by Cape Town Administration since July 1997. This study therefore serves to determine disease and clinic trends for the periods where no such aonual reports are available. It is important to determine health delivery trends for future strategic plaoning purposes. Changes to the nature and extent ofservices rendered by public health clinics were brought about by the following factors: Cl One approach of Primary Health Care is to refer more patients to public health clinics in order to release pressure from the major tertiary hospitals. If this Primary Health Care (PHC) model is provided appropriately, about 80% ofhealth problems should be solved without referral to another level of care; Cl A number of free public health clinic services have been introduced since the democratization of South Africa in 1994, such as free services to expectant mothers as well as free clinic services to children younger than six years; Cl New clinic services have been added, such as provision ofmedication to stabilized mental health patients; Cl HIV/AIDS has become an international pandemic over the past decade and has shown a 660.8% increase in Cape Town Central District; Cl A limited (19.8%) increase in the population for that area during the study period; Cl Clinic services have been legislated as a nurse driven service since 1997, with an additional emphasis on the curative roles of nurses (traditional roles of nurses at public health clinics were largely preventive and promotive).