Professional health care workers' experiences of care at two Community Day Clinics on the Cape Flats
Primary Health Care (PHC) is the cornerstone of health care globally, nationally and locally and, therefore, should be regarded as the foundation of health care provision. In South Africa, Community Day Clinics (CDCs) are part of the bouquet of services that is being offered at a PHC level. There are various factors that generate inconsistency in the provision of care to people accessing these CDCs. The purpose of this study was to identify and explore how these factors impact on the care practices that health care professional’s provide. Research suggests that the majority of health care workers are women, who play a double role as carers in their professional and private lives. Therefore, the political ethics of care, a feminist theoretical approach, was utilized to understand care practices in these health settings. The aim of the study was to develop an in-depth understanding of the care practices of health care workers at two CDC facilities on the Cape Flats. A qualitative research methodology was used to explore and identify the phenomenon under study. The research project followed an explorative and descriptive research design, as the researcher sought to understand the care practices of health care workers and how their values and ethics further influenced care practices at these two CDC settings. The data was gathered using semi-structured one-on-one interviews, and later analysed using qualitative thematic analysis. The research findings were grouped in terms of the values entrenched in the political ethics ofcare, which are attentiveness, responsibility, competence, responsiveness and trust. The research findings identified various aspects that, either negatively or positively, impact on these values. Finally, recommendations were made to management, as well as care workers. These recommendations were in terms of implementing care services that are attentive to service-users and care-workers; providing a service that takes into consideration the value of responsibility; the provision of competent services; and finally creating trusting relationships within the CDC.