KZN health suspends 24-hour service at clinic after armed robbery

2017-04-03 15:20
Patients wait in line at a clinic. (Ground Up, file)

Patients wait in line at a clinic. (Ground Up, file)

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Durban - A few hours after brazen criminals held up a security guard at a 24-hour clinic, they returned to the scene of the crime, demanding medical attention.

The armed robbery has since prompted the KwaZulu-Natal department of health to suspend the 24-hour service at the Qadi Clinic in Inanda, north of Durban.

Provincial health spokesperson Sam Mkhwanazi said the security guard was held at gunpoint on Saturday when armed men attempted to force him into the guardhouse at around 01:20.

"Attempts to lock him in [and then] proceed to the night duty nurses, failed. The criminals then fled after robbing the security guard of his cellphone and money," said Mkhwanazi.

However, the brazen criminals returned to the clinic at 04:30 demanding medical attention for one of them who was injured during the earlier altercation, said Mkhwanazi.

"A few hours later, they returned with re-enforcements and demanded that they be let in because one of them was injured. When this was refused by staff, they pelted the facility with stones and other objects and also tried to forcefully open the gate."

Attacks 'worrying'

KZN head of health Dr Sifiso Mtshali condemned the incident, saying the department was left with no option but to suspend the 24-hour service.

The clinic will now operate until 18:00 daily.

Mtshali said continued criminal attacks on healthcare facilities and personnel were worrying. 

"In the recent past criminals have embarked on atrocious and treasonous acts of attacking healthcare facilities such as clinics, emergency vehicles and healthcare workers. In certain instances these attacks have resulted in the loss of lives."

All emergencies, including births that would normally have gone to Qadi Clinic after 18:00 will be transferred to neighbouring health facilities. 

Read more on:    durban  |  healthcare  |  crime

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