South African Medical Association
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Media Release: SAMA KZN condemns the lack of safety in provincial hospitals

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
14 January 2020

SAMA KZN condemns the lack of safety in provincial hospitals

The South African Medical Association (SAMA) KwaZulu-Natal branch says it is dismayed and shocked at yet another violent incident at a healthcare facility in the province. A patient was shot last Friday in full view of patients, the public and healthcare staff at the Clairwood Hospital in Durban.

“This brutal gang-style execution at the hospital again raises concerns about the security at the institution as no weapons should have made it passed security. We are left to again ask how safe our healthcare facilities are and, by implication, how safe our patients and healthcare providers are,” says Dr Zanele Bikitsha, chairperson of the SAMA KZN branch.

Dr Bikitsha says SAMA KZN has raised the issue of the latest shooting with the provincial Department of Health, while at the same time also highlighting several issues. These include:

  • The 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,
  • The integration of technology to bolster the current lack of physical security services,
  • The identification of institutions in hotspot crime areas, and the establishment and fostering of better collaboration with the South African Police Service,
  • The creation of internal security posts to allow for more effective monitoring and evaluation of security at institutions which currently rely solely on outsourced services,
  • The rolling out of security risk assessments at all institution by the provincial Department of Health as a matter of urgency, and,
  • The finalisation of the awarding of a new security tender as a matter of urgency, with Local Economic Development being prioritised. This includes the timely conclusion of investigations into the alleged irregularities in the previous bid award attempt, with swift action being taken 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,” concludes Dr Bikitsha.

Notes to Editors
About SAMA
The South African Medical Association was formally constituted on 21 May 1998 as a unification of a variety of doctors’ groups that had represented a diversity of interests. SAMA is a non-statutory, professional association for public, and private sector medical practitioners. SAMA is a voluntary membership association, existing to serve the best interests and needs of its members in any and all healthcare related matter

Spokesperson
SAMA: SAMA KZN Coastal Branch
Dr Z Bikitsha
071 774 7699
Email:z.m.bikitsha@gmail.com