NEHAWU KZN statement on the shooting of a patient at Clairwood hospital

The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union [NEHAWU] in the KwaZulu-Natal Province is greatly dismayed and appalled by the recent execution style fatal shooting of a patient in the male surgical ward of Clairwood Hospital, in Durban.

This shocking incident reveals the gaps and inadequacies that underpins the security services of the public health institutions in the province. The frequency of these violent attacks taking place in our healthcare facilities in the province further depict a Department of Health that has an avalanche of security lapse challenges which up to so far have not been given the urgent attention they deserve.

This brazen attack and display of violence in our healthcare facilities poses a danger to the lives of our members and workers including patients who go to these institutions for medical attention. NEHAWU remains concerned that security services in our healthcare facilities are inadequate and that it makes it easy for assailants to enter the premises armed to the teeth and be able to locate patient they want to finish off. As NEHAWU, we are deeply concerned about the safety and wellbeing of our members, workers and patients who depend on these health facilities for their day to day health needs.

It is against this backdrop that we feel that the provincial Department of Health has to own up and take full responsibility for the perpetual security lapses that have taken place and admit that they have dropped the ball when it comes to issues of safety and security.

NEHAWU, therefore, calls upon the leadership of the department to refrain from sitting on their laurels and come up with a swift strategy on how to deal with matters of safety and security in the health institutions; it can’t be business as usual when staff and patients have to look over their shoulder from time to time when they are in health facilities. Furthermore, we call for the department to insource security services since private companies have dismally failed to provide proper security to workers and patients.

Issued by NEHAWU KZN Provincial Secretary  Ayanda Blessing Zulu at 079 519 5622; email: ayandaz@nehawu.org.za