South Africa: The Limpopo Department of Health has suspended the on call system at Makgope Clinic in the Greater Tzaneen area. This was after armed men gained access to the clinic by breaking down the palisade fence. They then accosted the security personnel, assaulted them and robbed them of their cell phones before demanding firearms.
The decision for the suspension of the on call duty system is to ensure that the department is able to work on measures which will guarantee the safety of the staff members in the clinic. This includes fixing the broken palisade fence, among others.
Criminal activities at health institutions have been a thorn in the side of the department, especially in its attempt to make clinics function at night.
The department has just employed over 300 nurses, the majority of whom will be placed in Primary Health Care facilities in order to expedite the 24-hour functioning of clinics. However, even with increased staff members, it will be impossible for clinics to operate at night while criminals are still threatening their safety by breaking into facilities.
The department once again calls on community members and stakeholders to work with it and law enforcement agencies to clamp down on these criminal activities, which are threatening the uninterrupted provision of health care in the province.
One of the Facebook users said, “Criminals will be criminals. The department of health and police has a duty to make sure they are ready at any time to fight criminals. But in South Africa, when you enter some institutions at night, you find few security without guns. I am not a security personnel but do u think they can fight criminals in that state???
Another user said, “So sad, hope people can understand how hard the department of health in Limpopo works, to the SAPS wish you can work hard to put those thieves under arrest.”