The South African Medical Association (Sama) Lowveld branch has strongly condemned the attempted murder of an intern doctor during a burglary at Mapulaneng hospital‚ Bushbuckridge‚ Mpumalanga on Sunday.
“Being shot at while on duty within the confines of the hospital grounds is totally unacceptable. What worries us even more is that this is not the first incident at a health facility in the province; a clinic manager was involved in an armed robbery‚ and there have been burglaries and attacks on medical staff at different facilities. All of this is deplorable‚” said Dr Mzukisi Grootboom‚ chairperson of Sama.
Grootboom added that there also appears to be a lack of will from the Department of Health in the province to deal effectively with the problem‚ “which is worrying”.
“Healthcare workers are entitled to a safe work environment and the provincial Department of Health can not wait for another incident at one of the health facilities or worse‚ for someone to be killed‚ before they act to ensure a safer working environment‚” Grootboom said.
The Mpumalanga Department of Health said that during the burglary certain items were stolen and shots were fired‚ but that the medical intern escaped unharmed.
“A case has since been opened with the Bushbuckridge police station. The doctor has been moved from the house to other accommodation and security measures have been put in place‚” said Dumisani Malamule‚ provincial health spokesperson.