Doctor murder forces review of facilities

2011-06-08 16:46

Johannesburg - Security at all health facilities will be reviewed after a doctor was murdered at the Middelburg hospital, the Mpumalanga provincial government said on Wednesday.

"The government has identified safety and security as one of the priorities in the Medium Term Strategic Framework; as a result the safety of our patients and health care officials is paramount in this administration," Mpumalanga premier David Mabuza said in a statement.

Mabuza visited the hospital where a 32-year-old patient allegedly stabbed Dr Senzosenkosi Mkhize in the chest, and stabbed the wrist of a security guard who tried to intervene, on Tuesday.

Mkhize was working in the out-patient department, where the patient had gone for a follow-up consultation.

The guard was admitted to the same hospital in a stable condition. Mkhize was transferred to a nearby private hospital in a critical condition and died later in the day.

The patient fled the scene and was still at large.


Mabuza said Health MEC Dikeledi Mahlangu, Education MEC Reginah Mhaule, Safety and Security MEC Vusimuzi Shongwe and Public Works MEC Clifford Mkansi would chart a process to review security at health facilities in the province.

The Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) said on Wednesday the news of Mkhize's killing was horrific.

"This horrific incident is unacceptable as our practitioners are treating the public, caring for those who are in need of quality healthcare," acting CEO Marella O'Reilly said in a statement.

"We, as the public, should be applauding them for the work they are doing - not attacking them."

O'Reilly said the safety of health practitioners was an ongoing concern by the regulator. Incidents like these were forcing health practitioners overseas, she said.

Shongwe said security guards must search everyone entering a state institution, including hospitals, to make sure they were not carrying weapons.

He condemned the murder and regretted that the incident happened in a government establishment.


"Through our security management officials, the department will also establish how the suspect gained entry to the hospital with a knife, without the security guards detecting him, and steps should be taken against those guards who failed to perform their duties as required," he said.

The Police and Prisons Civil Rights' Union (Popcru), Democratic Nursing Organisation of SA (Denosa) and National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union (Nehawu) were shocked and angered by the killing.

The unions blamed the lack of security and poorly trained guards for the incident.

Denosa spokesperson Asanda Fongqo said: "As Denosa we are concerned by the safety and security of healthcare workers in the province as this is not an isolated incident, this issue needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency if we are to overhaul our health system."

"It is unfortunate that our hospitals have been turned into warzones where people do not feel safe because of government's ill-conceived policy of privatisation and outsourcing," Nehawu spokesperson Sizwe Pamla said.

  • gizzy - 2011-06-08 16:58

    And then they force young just qualified doctors to work in those enviornments! Shame on them. May that poor doctor rest in peace!

  • motsokwane - 2011-06-08 16:58

    Don't tell me whonga has reached mpumamalanga.

  • oupag - 2011-06-08 17:00

    Drugs Drugs to our detriment no respect of life......May his soul rest in peace.

  • TRiP - 2011-06-08 17:00

    Always has to take a death to encourage a wake up call. Too sad, and yes we'll get the crap doctors who can't speak English from dodgy commie countries and our homegrown docs will end up overseas. Something is very wrong government, hopefully Zuma this time he wakes up. Perhaps he should try out a govy hospital so that he know what us grass root people are subjected to!

      Mike Moreni - 2011-06-08 17:27

      Trip u idiot, i get treated by these so called crappy doctors who can't speak english and they are doing a great job, i hope you get sick and no one will touch you. You just had to insult someone didn't you.

      TRiP - 2011-06-08 17:42

      Mike Doos Moreni, you're a schmuck. You've missed my point completely. Why the heck are we importing Cubans and chasing out homegrowns overseas, because this crap government that you most likely elected is ruining everything, healthcare. Epic fail that they land their fat little sausage fingers on. And no, I've got a super fantastical medical aid for life, so I'm afraid your wish won't come true.

      motsokwane - 2011-06-08 19:10

      Mike is truly correct to say you are an Idiot,I suggest you take a trip to Cuba and learn 1 or 2 things about their standards of education Especially in medicine.The Cubans top the world IDI.

  • SaC - 2011-06-08 18:00

    It is very sad when things like this have to happen to make the Government wake-up. There are plenty of other incidents where Doctors and other Health workers feel threatened and unsafe at work but they are generally hushed up, and nothing changes. However, to be fair, a lot of the problems with Hospital Health workers being assaulted/ raped/ murdered/ intimidated/ etc are by people employed within the hospital property who just seem to get away with all these things and thereby control the place (of healthcare). Rotating security guards and companies also does not successfully prevent these disruptive and life-threatening activities. It is high time we South Africans learnt to value ourselves AND each other. Life is too cheap here from the looks of things!

  • drsfiso - 2011-06-08 22:16

    please note that in this article there is no union or organisation representing the doctors against the management or goverment. Thanks to Denosa, popcru, nehawu etc. for saying their part. one big problem about this coutry is that doctors do not have proper representaion. all the legally recognised organisations have been sleeping with the enemy from day 1. just read the article and see how they are all on the other side and defencive. they should be representing doctors but they speak the same language as the goverment. the bottom line is: if you are a SA doctor and you want to be heard or taken serious, just move

  • boreas - 2011-06-09 08:30

    I wonder why he was taken to a private hospital and not the public hospital in which he was stabbed?

  • pages:
  • 1