Police to patrol Thokoza clinic but Denosa members afraid to work night shift
Gauteng health MEC Dr Bandile Masuku says the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Police Department (EMPD) will patrol the Phola Park Clinic in Thokoza at night to ensure the safety of patients and staff at the 24-hour health facility.
Three men barged into the clinic on Sunday night in search of a man who had been stabbed. The men, carrying knives, searched for the patient and went from room to room, damaging property in the process.
Following the attack, members of the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (Denosa) withdrew its members from night shift duty at the clinic until such time that their safety could be guaranteed.
Masuku said he met the Ekurhuleni health district and the clinic’s management team and officials on Tuesday to be briefed on the security breach.
At the meeting, Masuku expressed disappointment over Denosa's decision to withdraw members from night shift duty as it would compromise service delivery.
"It is regrettable that the unions have resolved to withdraw their members as a response to the safety concerns in the facilities, which will compromise the delivery of essential services," said Masuku.
Masuku said while the department acknowledged that the safety of staff and patients remained of paramount importance, the department felt the disruption of essential services was not a workable solution.
"We remain confident that the night shift staff will return to work today," Masuku said.
However, Demosa Ekurhuleni secretary Lebo Khumalo said the withdrawal would remain in effect until the union was satisfied that the safety of members had been addressed.
Khumalo said patrols by the EMPD would not ensure that were safe at night as the EMPD officials would not always be available on the premises.
Khumalo added that the clinic management had promised to improve safety, including the introduction of new security personnel and fixing panic buttons at the facility.
The union would assess safety at the clinic before deciding whether or not to return to night shift duty, Khumalo said.