Union bemoans hospital 'war zones'

2011-06-08 16:25

Johannesburg - The death of the doctor killed by a patient in hospital in Mpumalanga is a big loss for a country desperately in need of doctors, the National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union (Nehawu) said on Wednesday.

"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," union spokesperson Sizwe Pamla said.

"The union, though shocked, is not surprised because people have been continuously attacked at Middelburg Hospital without any action from the institutional and provincial management."

He said the security companies contracted to the health department provided inadequate and poorly trained guards in most health facilities.


On Tuesday, a 32-year-old patient allegedly stabbed Dr Senzosenkosi Mkhize in the chest, and a security guard who tried to intervene, in the wrist. At the time 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.

Pamla said the dedication of health practitioners was betrayed by the government's callous and negligent attitude and workers felt they were not appreciated nor recognised.

  • Smindlo - 2011-06-08 16:35

    ANC must take responsibility for the shambolic status the health systemm is in!!! when are they going to learn to take responsibility? they trying to force NHI down our throats when they cant even get the basics right!!!!

      DeonL - 2011-06-08 16:41

      Yes, it will take Gov. 50 years to get NHI ready not 14 years.

  • willieman - 2011-06-08 16:37

    We need a union which will call it's memebers to roder when they do not work.Currently the situation is you some employees ride on the wings of others.No work ethics at all.This kind of situation should not happen

  • BigMoose - 2011-06-08 16:46

    The ANC is running this country...into the ground. So sorry for the doctor who lost his life.

  • senkgisha - 2011-06-08 16:50

    The farken economic system as the union has said, Exhausted and condolences to the grieving family...if it were the son of the top anc officials,the criminal could ha been caught!!!!

  • Gorilla - 2011-06-08 16:50

    The unions are only there to squeeze money out of their members. Once a year they create bad vibes between employers and their members, call a strike, dance, riot, break stuff and get members beaten up by police. Then they disappear until some likely story breaks and they can get free publicity and mileage at someone elses expense. The first step forward in SA would be to get rid of the unions and let employers select labour on merit.

  • mcbloo - 2011-06-08 18:25

    Senzo studied with me. I'm at the point where I seriously regret my career choice. I don't want to save the lives of these animals.

  • jacquesbence - 2011-06-08 18:41

    RIP Senzo! He was an amazing guy who always had time for junior students! A beast of a man and a champ in the gym!

  • Nathaniel - 2011-06-08 19:57

    Why must we as future doctors and current doctors put time and effort to help and serve the government and the country if they don't give a dam about our safety? Negligence is something we in our field is seen as really bad practice and if nothing is going to be done to ensure our safety for the limited doctors we have in South Africa, then the department is being negligent on our behalf.

  • Silas Mapuroma - 2015-02-16 04:47

    ANC is looking at different directions, Could Union also raised citizens concerns as Hospitals in South Africa are fatal, I lost two members n a week while admitted to Gauteng Hospitals, Mostwho take family member to hospitals must prepare funeral.

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