Gauteng has 35 healthcare facilities that are crime hotspots.
Health-e News reports that this is according to Gauteng Health and the South African Police Service, who are collaborating to develop a plan of getting quick responses to crime incidents in public healthcare facilities.
This year has seen a rise in health workers being threatened and attacked. In Gauteng, there have been at least 10 cases of nurses and doctors’ lives being in danger, according to Young Nurses Indaba Trade Union (YNITU).
The report says Gauteng Health admits that “security gaps are unacceptable” and planning on working with different stakeholders to find solutions. The department says that it is in the process of doing security assessments of all the security gaps in facilities and districts.
“These assessments are going to be covering the infrastructure and security equipment-related issues. Though these assessments, relevant equipment will be identified and purchased and infrastructure will be upgraded as soon as the budget is made available,” the department is quoted in the report as saying.
The Democratic Nursing Organisation of SA (Denosa) in Ekurhuleni has threatened to withdraw its members from Pholosong Hospital in Tsakane after a nurse was attacked by a patient on Wednesday of last week. A Sowetan report says according to the union, the nurse was strangled by a patient at around 6am. "The nurse was attacked and strangled by a patient in the passage inside the facility. After choking her, (the patient) took her cellphones, leaving her down and unconscious for some time this morning because private security has proven over many times that it is ineffective and should be in-sourced.
"But government continues to ignore this call as if someone is benefiting handsomely from outsourcing this critical healthcare service," Denosa said.
The patient, the union said, went through two security checkpoints without a single security guard in sight.
According to the report, the union said it was organising a meeting with provincial health MEC Dr Bandile Masuku over the matter "because it will withdraw its members from this unsafe condition if nothing is done".
Hospersa is demanding the drastic improvement of safety of health care workers in hospitals after the attack. The union, in a statement on the Polity site, has called for the Health Minister and the Gauteng Health MEC to ensure that all healthcare workers are protected while on duty. Hospersa has demanded Gauteng Health act swiftly in addressing the securing concerns in public health institutions.
“We demand that the Health Minister and the MEC for Health put a stop to the outsourcing of security in public health facilities in the country, as this incident is yet another example of ineffective security measures in place,” said Hospersa general secretary Noel Desfontaines. “One can only imagine the trauma this nurse is going through and are deeply concerned that such acts can take place at our public health institutions,” added Desfontaines.
“Hospersa has been campaigning for years around the state of safety and security management at public hospitals in the country,” said Desfontaines. We cannot stand by while our members are being attack in a brutal manner putting their lives at risk while the Health Department keeps dragging its feet on fixing safety and security management issues at its health facilities, said Desfontaines.
[link url="https://www.sowetanlive.co.za/news/south-africa/2019-09-18-union-threatens-to-remove-staff-after-nurse-attacked-by-patient-at-gauteng-hospital/"]Sowetan report[/link]
[link url="https://www.polity.org.za/article/hospersa-demands-safety-of-healthcare-workers-in-hospitals-2019-09-20"]Hospersa statement on the Polity site[/link]
[link url="https://health-e.org.za/2019/09/20/about-35-hospitals-and-clinics-are-crime-hotspots-in-gauteng/"]Health-e News report[/link]