161 security incidents at Helen Joseph Hospital

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow Health MEC

There were 161 recorded security incidents at the Helen Joseph Hospital since January last year.

This is revealed in a written reply by Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature.

Thefts are the major problem, with 73 thefts and 16 burglaries/break-ins recorded. There were 14 incidents of property damage and 9 incidents of unruly behaviour.

It is disturbing to note in view of the recent rape of a nurse at the hospital that there were three attempted rapes there last year.

A total of 42 criminal charges have been laid and 7 arrests made from January 2013 to end-August this year.

The number of security guards has now been increased to 48 during the day and 38 during the night, up from 33 day guards and 23 night guards previously.

Staff moving about the hospital at night will have escorts, and 80 panic buttons have been given to highly exposed staff.

I hope that other hospitals institute similar preventive security measures.

Both staff and patients must feel secure at all times. Hospitals should be places of healing, not places of fear.