Health MEC calls for stricter security after patient shot dead at Durban hospital
A patient who was killed execution style at a Durban hospital on Friday evening has been identified as a foreign national.
According to KwaZulu-Natal health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu, two armed men stormed past Clairwood hospital security and allegedly shot the man in the head at point blank range, in full view of other patients and staff.
They escaped in their vehicle by pointing guns at the hospital security guards, who tried to contain them by shutting the main gates.
The patient, a foreign national, was being treated for previous gunshot wounds, and had been transferred from King Edward VIII hospital to Clairwood on December 23, for wound care and rehabilitation.
Simelane-Zulu said: “We are obviously shocked at this brazen display of violence right inside a health care facility. It is a flagrant disregard for the law, and a display of the ruthlessness of the criminal element in our society.
“Although it is not always possible to predict an incident of this nature, which appears well-planned, the fact that these perpetrators were able to escape without getting apprehended by security or law enforcement does call into question our preparedness as a department to react effectively to such acts.
“It means that our system is not as effective as we would have liked to think.
“Notwithstanding the fact that these people were armed, and that they also threatened our security guards, we should have had a system in place that ought to have made it difficult for them to get away.
“We will have to urgently re-look at our security protocols and make improvements as far as possible, within our limited financial means,” she said.
The department has offered counselling to staff and patients who witnessed the incident.