Help arrest healthcare worker attackers

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Following a spate of attacks on health professionals in Limpopo and Gauteng, Cabinet has called on communities to work with law enforcement agencies to ensure that perpetrators of these “heinous” crimes are arrested and convicted.

“Health professionals and health facilities serve communities… Attacking those who are meant to save lives is a criminal offence and will not be tolerated,” said Cabinet in a statement on Thursday.

In a statement, released following an ordinary meeting in Cape Town yesterday, Cabinet condemned the attacks on doctors in hospitals.

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi will lead a multi-disciplinary task team to review security systems at public healthcare facilities. The task team will comprise of police intelligence agents, detective services, public order policing, private security authorities and Department of Home Affairs (DHA) officials.

In Limpopo, doctors were attacked in their residential quarters at the Letaba Hospital and Lebowakgomo Hospital.

In both incidents, doctors were robbed of money, cellphones and laptops.

While in Gauteng, criminals allegedly stabbed a security guard at Leratong Hospital. In another incident, paramedics were harassed by people accompanying a patient.

Following the incident, Gauteng Health MEC Gwen Ramokgopa said her department will work with law enforcement to beef up security over the festive season. –