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DENOSA KZN to obtain court order against Department of Health over stabbing of a nurse

Media statement

Monday, 03 February 2020

DENOSA KZN to obtain court order against Department of Health over stabbing of a nurse, a patient and security at King Edward Hospital, and closure of all health services in the ILembe District due to unpaid salaries of security personnel

The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) in KwaZulu-Natal woke up to the sad news where a nurse, a patient and a security officer were stabbed by a patient at King Edward Hospital in Durban as well as the closure of health facilities and district offices in the ILembe District due to a protest by security personnel over unpaid salaries.

These are disturbing developments because it is not long ago that a patient was shot and killed at Clairwood Hospital, south of Durban, which clearly shows the lack of will to deal with this ongoing challenge in our facilities.

As a result of these latest developments, DENOSA has taken, as a last resort, a decision to approach the court with the view to obtain an order forcing the department to adhere to the National Health Act by providing a safe environment for our members working in its facilities as well as to ensure the safety of patients under its care. Attacks of workers and patients have been occurring without any stoppage.

Nurses and other health workers and patients at King Edward Hospital are traumatized and demoralized at the same time because they have been experiencing this issue of poor security at the facility. The hospital is a high risk zone where, constantly, workers feel unsafe.

Last week on Thursday in the morning, criminals dressed in white coats broke into the nursery locker area and they broke padlocks of many lockers and took all the valuables that they could get. Money, cellphones and wallets were taken while nurses were on duty. Security and management were all informed. And two hours later, they went to the top floor where they robbed other wards of the same and nothing was done to catch them while there is security in each and every floor. No police came to investigate.
In the ILembe District, all health facilities in the district are closed, including the district offices of health, because security personnel are aggrieved over unpaid salaries. This is a threat to both nurses and patients, and nurses cannot work in facilities where their safety is not guaranteed.

It is over a decade since DENOSA has been complaining about security in health facilities and contracts of security companies get renewed and new one get contracts and yet the results are the same. We have long advocated for the in-sourcing of security in government which we believe strongly that it will be cost effective to government while accountability of security will rest with CEOs and Managers of health facilities.

End

Issued by DENOSA in KwaZulu-Natal

For more information, contact:

Mandla Shabangu, DENOSA KZN Provincial Secretary

Mobile: 071 643 3369