By Jane Sithole, MPL, Spokesperson on Health:
The DA extends heartfelt condolences to the family of the 29-year-old man who was allegedly stabbed and killed by a fellow patient at Evander Hospital in Govan Mbeki municipality, yesterday afternoon.
According to media reports, the men shared a ward after they were admitted to hospital last week. The deceased was allegedly stabbed repeatedly in the face with a drip while there were no health workers around.
Not only do patients have to contend with a shortage of medicines and shortage of staff in hospitals, but now they must also worry about whether or not they are safe from crime.
The provincial health department must table a plan on the safety of patients urgently. Our hospitals should be safe places of healing, not dangerous crime scenes.
Health MEC, Gillion Mashego must ensure that:
- The family of the victim receives trauma counselling to help them get through this traumatic and difficult time.
- The safety of patients must be prioritised because often times when admitted to hospital, patients are left without supervision for long periods of time.
- That all vacant posts are filled to avoid situations where hospitals operate with skeleton staff and end up not being able to oversee all areas of the hospital.
Hospitals should be a place of healing where people can expect to recover from their ailments, patients should not carry the burden of looking over their shoulder and wondering if they are safe while they are supposed to be recuperating.
The DA believes that the actions of a politically-accountable provincial executive and the cascading of quality and professionalism through the entire system, is critical in tightening and improving the quality of healthcare.
A caring government, as envisage by the DA will be based on the social model of health and thus equipped to contribute in dealing with the full range of social determinants of health care. The most poor and marginalised of our society, who are not covered by medical aids and lack the resources to access private health care, needs to be assured of their freedom and access to proper healthcare. They need to know that they will be treated with fairness and their safety is not compromised. Only a caring government can achieve that.