Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu. File Picture.
Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu. File Picture.

Fears grow over safety at KZN hospitals after dramatic 'hit' on patient

By KELYN BLACKBURN Time of article published Jan 13, 2020

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Durban - Hospital safety concerns have arisen after two men walked into Clairwood Hospital and fatally shot a 47-year-old man in the head.

Police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala said the two men had entered the men’s surgical ward and forced their way past security guards after pointing firearms at them on Friday. “It is believed that the man was killed in full view of other patients and hospital staff,” said Gwala.

Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu said the patient, whose name has not been released as his family has yet to be notified, was being treated for gunshot wounds from a previous incident and had been transferred from King Edward VIII Hospital to Clairwood in late December.

“It is alleged that after shooting him, the suspects walked back to their vehicle and drove off. The security guards had tried to close the main hospital gate but the men threatened them and forcefully opened the gate themselves, before fleeing,” said Sime­lane-Zulu.

The MEC said she was shocked “at this brazen display of violence inside a healthcare facility”.

“The fact that these perpetrators were able to escape does call into question our preparedness as a department to react effectively to such acts,” she said.

Simelane-Zulu said the safety system within healthcare facilities would have to be changed.

“It means that our system is not as effective as we would have liked to think. We will have to urgently re-look at our security protocols”, she said.

Opposition parties also voiced their opinion.

Ncamisile Nkwanyana, the IFP’s health spokesperson, said: “The question of cost for the safety improvement and implementation may arise. But can one put a price on the lives and the safety of the patients and staff?”

The DA raised concerns about the quality of training the hospital security guards receive.

“The SAPS were reportedly not at the scene. The DA will take steps to ensure that the Department of Health determine when the police were called and what their response time was and that this entire incident is fully investigated,” said Dr Rishigen Viranna, the DA’s health spokesperson.

Gwala said the motive for the murder was not known.

Daily News

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