South Africa

Lack of safety in spotlight after patient shot in Durban hospital

Lack of safety in spotlight after patient shot in Durban hospital

Port Elizabeth - The South African Medical Association (Sama) KwaZulu-Natal branch said it was shocked at another violent incident at a healthcare facility in the province after a patient was shot last Friday in front of patients and healthcare staff at Durban's Clairwood Hospital.

“This brutal gang-style execution at the hospital again raises concerns about the security at the institution as no weapons should have made it past security.

"We are left to again ask how safe our healthcare facilities are and, by implication, how safe our patients and healthcare providers are,” chairperson of the Sama KZN branch, Dr Zanele Bikitsha said.

She said Sama KZN raised the issue of the latest shooting with the provincial department of health, while at the same time also highlighting several issues. These include:

* Full enforcement of the service level agreement between the KZN department of health and Msizi Security, while awaiting the appointment of a new service provider,

* Integration of technology to bolster the current lack of physical security services,

* Identifying institutions in hotspot crime areas, and establishment and fostering better collaboration with the South African Police Service,

* Creating internal security posts to facilitate more effective monitoring and evaluation of security at institutions that rely solely on outsourced services,

* Rolling out security risk assessments at all institution by the provincial department of health as a matter of urgency, and,

* Finalising awarding a new security tender as a matter of urgency, with local economic development being prioritised. This includes timely conclusion of investigations into alleged irregularities in the previous bid award attempt, with swift action by the MEC against those implicated.

“SAMA KZN would like to reiterate that the security of our members, other healthcare professionals, staff, the public, and patients is of utmost importance.

"We cannot allow a situation to continue where employees are subjected to unsafe working conditions while providing essential health services to the people of KZN,” Bikitsha said.

African News Agency (ANA)