The Democratic Alliance is deeply concerned by ongoing safety issues at KwaZulu-Natal’s health facilities, which escalated to the ‘execution-style’ shooting of a patient at Durban’s Clairwood Hospital on Friday evening.
The incident took place in front of other patients and hospital staff.
The DA extends its deepest condolences to the patient’s family. The first priority must be their well-being, as well as that of the patients and staff affected and psychological support must be provided to ensure that any long-lasting trauma is relieved.
This horrific shooting comes after numerous recent violent attacks at other health facilities in the province, including KwaMsane, Nkonjeni, RK Khan and now Clairwood, with the safety of both patients and hospital staff being placed at risk.
Of particular concern in this latest case is that the gunmen drove onto the Clairwood Hospital property, seemingly without any security checks. According to reports, while the gates were locked when they tried to leave, they were able to do so by threatening the security guards into opening them.
This raises serious concerns regarding the training that hospital security guards receive. South African Police Services (SAPS) were also reportedly not on scene. The DA will take the necessary steps to ensure that the KZN Department of Health determine when the police were called and what their response time was and that this entire incident is fully investigated. It is extremely concerning that an apparent ‘professional hit’ occurred within Clairwood Hospital.
This shocking incident has again raised the deadly issue of safety within KZN health facilities. The DA will be calling on MEC Simelane-Zulu to fast-track a major overhaul of hospital and clinic current security measures, including improved training of security personnel, better visitor entry and security checks, CCTV cameras and evacuation procedures. There must also be a closer relationship between such facilities and their local police stations. The gunmen are still at large and we call on SAPS to prioritise this investigation and speedily make arrests.
KZN’s health facilities must be places of healing and recovery. The DA will continue to fight to ensure this in the interests of the people of our province