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Western Cape health authorities say their facilities need to be strengthened to handle both COVID-19 and other health services.

The comment comes after the department tabled a budget of more than R29.4 Billion for the 2022/2023 financial year.

Since the outbreak of the virus two years ago, hospitals and clinics have prioritised their services to accommodate the pandemic.

They’re now facing a surgeries backlog and much less testing for TB and HIV.

The department says their facilities also are also facing a massive number of mental health issues.

Head of Department, Dr Keith Cloete, says the health system will be facing a lot of challenges.

“This year, is the year of having to continue to be ready to respond to whatever COVID-19 does in terms of the 5th and 6th waves. We must also continue to vaccinate people as we return to recovery. But at the same time we have to deal four waves of disruption to healthcare services generally”.

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