Dark pathways at Fort Napier hospital make staff uneasy

2013-06-18 00:00

FORT Napier Hospital staff members are concerned about a lack of lighting at the hospital’s precinct.

According to the employees, who asked not to be named, the issue has been ongoing since 2007.

They allege that poor maintenance of the streetlights within the perimeter of the hospital is the root cause of the problem.

“We cannot go out at night because we might be robbed in this darkness,” said one employee.

He said this matter had been reported to the Health head of department from 2007, but no intervention is in sight.

“We had two department houses occupied by staff members and those have since been evacuated. The houses have since been vandalised and are occupied by vagrants who have turned them into a haven for criminal activities,” said another staff member.

Other issues raised were inadequate security, which leads to staff not being protected from violent patients.

KZN Health spokesperson Sam Mkhwanazi said the lighting within the hospital precinct had been identified as a priority and the department was attending to the matter.

“The department has done a security needs analysis and identified a need to beef up security. The police are doing regular patrols on the premises as awaiting trial prisoners are being held in the forensic section. The new security specification for the hospital will cover ward areas of the premises and a vehicle will be stationed on the premises to conduct regular patrols,” he said.

Mkhwanazi said the departmental housing policy stipulated that categories of staff could be housed for a set period. “The allegation that these houses were vandalised and turned into a haven for criminal activities is not true,” he said.

Pietermaritzburg police spokesperson Lieutenant Joey Jeevan confirmed that the police do regular patrols at the hospital.

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