Stringent safety measures to be instituted for health facilities

The Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Zwelini Mkhize

The Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Zwelini Mkhize, calls on community members to desist from
committing violent crimes in health facilities.
On 11th of January two armed suspects entered Clairwood Hospital in Durban and fatally shot
a 47-year-old patient. The motive for the killing is unknown and the police are on the hunt for
the suspects.
“Hospitals should be regarded as sacred ground, not places to settle scores. We cannot
tolerate this level of barbarism. Towards the end of 2019 I called an urgent National Health
Council meeting by teleconference to address this issue and instructed the Department of
Health to implement security measures for the safety of our staff and patients as a matter of
extreme urgency.”
The Safety and Security Forum met on 4 December 2019 where an urgent plan of action was
outlined to deal with safety and security in health facilities. Amongst the resolutions was the
expansion of the forum to include relevant key stakeholders; a memorandum of understanding
to be established between the Department of Health and South African Police Service as a
matter of urgency; and the recognition that non-compliance with safety and security
requirements has potential litigation implications.
 The Forum also recognized that there is an urgent need to reinforce security training and
procedure in facilities, as well as ensuring that security companies comply with requisite labour
 The Minister continues, “there will be more stringent rules in place in our facilities- it will no
longer be possible to simply walk in without passing through a security checkpoint. Members
of the community should expect that they may be searched. Facility rules regarding visiting
times, articles allowed into the premises and numbers of people allowed to visit must be
respected. Above all the instruction of staff should be complied with- their task is primarily to
safeguard patients and themselves.”
 Trauma counseling for patients and staff who witnessed the horrific event is available.
Anyone with information that can assist the police apprehend the suspects is encouraged to
come forward. Tip offs can be sent to the police anonymously by calling Crime Stop at 08600
10111, or send an anonymous SMS to Crime Line at 32211

Tshwane Bulletin

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