Doctors must march for improved safety, says organisation

2011-06-09 10:52

Doctors must march to government and demand improved security at public hospitals, the Junior Doctors’ Association of South Africa (Judasa) said today.

“We have run out of patience to mourn the killing, raping and mugging of doctors at South African public hospitals. We can no longer afford to wait until another doctor’s life is put in danger at their place of work,” said Judasa president Dr Tende Makofane.

This came after the murder of Dr Senzosenkosi Mkhize allegedly by a patient at a Middelburg hospital on Tuesday.

Judasa declared June 15 a national day of mourning, and the day to march against violence towards medical professionals.

Makofane said the department of health had ignored the association’s previous requests to install metal detectors at all hospital entry points.

“Instead, all we have seen in most public hospitals are security guards stopping short of strip-searching health workers as they enter and leave hospital premises, while members of the public access hospitals without any scrutiny.”

Doctors were being treated like second-class citizens in their own country, he said.

“If a politician got raped or killed within the premises of the Union Buildings or Parliament, not only will they call in the army to beef up their already tight security, but they would declare it a national crisis.”

African Christian Democratic Party president Reverend Kenneth Meshoe also believed that the government was not doing enough to secure the safety of doctors.

“Fear of attacks at work should never be something they [doctors] should worry about. All healthcare professionals have the right to work freely in an environment free from danger,” he said.

Judasa, a special interest group of the South African Medical Association, was formed in 1992 to address the needs and challenges faced by junior doctors within South Africa. 

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