Medical staff not safe at public health facilities 

Issued by Michele Clarke MP – DA Shadow Minister of Health
11 Jan 2024 in News

Note to editors: Please find the attached soundbite by Michele Clarke MP

More than 200 incidents of hospital and clinic staff were attacked or threatened by patients or assailants over the past two years. Over half of these took place in KZN.

These shocking statistics came to light following a DA parliamentary question and paint a bleak picture regarding the safety of medical staff.

Public health personnel have enough on their plates with broken and dangerous infrastructure, staff shortages, medicine stockouts, and broken equipment, to name just a few. They should not also have to deal with robberies at gunpoint, physical, verbal, and sexual abuse, death threats, or violence of any other kind. These staff provide a vital service to communities and the Minister must do more to ensure their safety while on public health facility premises.

The Office of Health Standards Compliance (OHSC) reviews the security of health facilities as part of their ideal clinic checks. The DA will submit a follow-up PQ to the Minister to determine how many facilities passed their OHSC security reviews.

The Minister needs to prioritise the safety of clinic and hospital staff. The country is already facing a critical shortage and a steady exodus of medical professionals. Failure to improve their safety will surely exacerbate the situation.