Two doctors stabbed by patient at Kimberley hospital

20 September 2021 - 11:12
Two doctors at the Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe Hospital in Kimberley were stabbed by a patient at the weekend. Stock photo.
Two doctors at the Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe Hospital in Kimberley were stabbed by a patient at the weekend. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/Markus Schnessl

The SA Medical Association (Sama) has called on the management of Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe Hospital in Kimberley to explain how two doctors were allegedly stabbed by a male patient at the weekend.

“[The stabbing] is yet another example of public hospitals in the country failing to adequately protect staff,” the association said.

“According to reports, a male patient at the hospital stabbed two female doctors and another patient with a knife before being restrained by the hospital’s security personnel.”

The doctors were stabbed in their arms in the hospital’s casualty ward.

“Incidents such as these erode the confidence of doctors that they are able to perform their duties in a safe environment,” said Sama chairperson Dr Angelique Coetzee.

“For how long will provincial authorities stand by and watch innocent doctors and patients be subjected to these types of incidents? It’s unfair on them, and it’s unfair on the patients who need treatment.”

She said something needed to be done to urgently address safety and security issues, not only at the hospital but at all provincial facilities throughout the country.

Coetzee called on management at the hospital to explain how a patient was able to wander around the hospital unchecked with a knife, and why there were not sufficient security personnel on duty in the casualty ward on Friday night.

“Doctors on duty in casualty wards are providing critical services to patients. They cannot be looking over their shoulders every minute, concerned they might be the next victim.

“Hospital management has a duty to protect these healthcare workers. When incidents such as this occur, they are obviously failing in that duty,” she said.

The suspect arrested in connection with the stabbings is due to appear in the Kimberley magistrate’s court this week.

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