South Africa: Metro Police to Conduct Patrols At Phola Park Clinic

Ekurhuleni Metro Police will conduct night patrols at Phola Park Clinic after a security breach in which knife-wielding men attacked a patient and ransacked the facility this past weekend.

The commitment to patrol the facility follows a meeting held on Tuesday by Gauteng Health MEC, Dr Bandile Masuku, the Ekurhuleni Health District and Phola Park Community Healthcare Centre management team and officials.

"With regards to security, a commitment has been made with help from the Members of Mayoral Committee responsible for Community Safety and Health in the City of Ekurhuleni. It was agreed that Metro Police will patrol the area at night to ensure patient and staff safety," the provincial Department of Health said in a statement.

Masuku has reiterated his concern on the rising incidents of violence and lapse in security in health facilities.

"We will be reviewing our service level agreements with security companies that are providing services in our institutions," Masuku said.

The MEC also discussed the withdrawal of night shift staff by labour due to safety concerns and as such, a commitment to resume 24-hour service was made.

The MEC expressed disappointment at the decision of the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa to withdraw its members from the night shift at the Thokoza based clinic, saying this 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.

"While we acknowledge that the safety of staff and patients remains paramount, we had hoped that a resolution to this problem would be a product of the collective efforts of government, organised labour and facility management. The disruption of essential services is not a workable solution. We remain confident that the nightshift staff will return to work today [Tuesday]," he said.

The provincial department said the process of counselling those affected by the incident is ongoing.

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