IFP: IMPROVED SECURITY FOR PUBLIC HOSPITALS NEEDED

The IFP in KwaZulu-Natal calls on the Department of Health to develop a “fool proof” protocol aimed at safety and security in public hospitals.

“Today I conducted an oversight visit at Inkosi Albert Luthuli Hospital in Durban where I was shocked to find out that security guards stationed at the entrance only search cars when they leave the hospital and not when they enter the premises. My car was not searched on entering. This creates an opening for dangerous weapons to be brought into the hospital, placing the lives of hospital staff and patients at risk.

One of the security guards stated that it is not vital to search cars when they enter the hospital premises but it’s only important to search when they leave. What would happen if people enter with dangerous weapons and shot people inside the hospital? I am reminded of the incident at King Edward VIII Hospital not so long ago where a staff member was shot by a colleague. We must not compromise on safety in public places,” said IFP Spokesperson on Health, Mrs Ncamisile Nkwanyana, MPL.

“The absence of adequate security facilities at hospitals and clinics is one of the reasons why medical personnel leave the public sector for the private sector or in other government departments. Let us not wait for another tragic incident before we act. Safety of staff and patients is one of the items that should be prioritised when the Department allocates its budget,” continued Mrs Nkwanyana.

“We demand that police be deployed at all hospitals and that contracts for private security services be terminated. We further demand electronic scanners and metal detectors at all hospital entry points, as well as concrete palisade fences around all health care facilities,” concluded Mrs Nkwanyana.

The IFP calls on the KZN MEC of Health, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo to urgently conduct an audit on how security companies contracted to hospitals are carrying out their duties and if found to be negligent, their contracts must be terminated.

Issued by: IFP Spokesperson on Health, Mrs Ncamisile Nkwanyana MPL