Health Department addressing Newtown Clinic issues after spate of robberies
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Durban - DISCUSSIONS are expected to run into the weekend, to address the issues surrounding the safety and security of health-care workers, from Newtown Community Health Centre, in Inanda, north of Durban, after a spate of robberies.
The Daily News was informed by an anonymous source that the clinic had been closed for almost two weeks because a vagrant had snatched a nurse’s handbag from her.
“What confuses me is that the vagrant always robs them. There are security guards at the clinic, but it is said the same vagrant always robs them,” the source said.
The source said the public was suffering because when one goes to the clinic, it is closed. This has apparently never happened before.
“Some people have been vaccinated. They need to return for medical attention, but they cannot. The nurses are relaxed, when you get there they tell you that the clinic is closed, go to C-section. When you get to C-section, it’s full and they cannot attend to you,” they said.
The Public Servants Association (PSA) provincial manager Mlungisi Ndlovu said a staffer was recently robbed of R5 000, while in the parking area. Ndlovu said the union had received increasing complaints from its members, who were attacked and robbed outside the clinic.
On Wednesday, provincial Health spokesperson Ntokozo Maphisa said the department was concerned about the situation. Maphisa said a meeting took place yesterday, between Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane and eThekwini mayor Mxolisi Kaunda. Details from the meeting will be made public soon.
Simelane, head of department Dr Sandile Tshabalala, Kaunda, councillors, and community leaders, were in attendance.
Simelane said instead of sitting at home, the health-care workers said they would like to work at the district office, because there were a lot of challenges that posed a danger to their lives.
“There are meetings that need to be held over the weekend. Issues need to be discussed. The community needs to hear problems that health-care workers face, in terms of crime,” Simelane said.
She said the community would also address what made them unhappy. Simelane also said the community should protect clinics and hospitals.
Ndlovu said: “The PSA appeals to the Transport and Community Safety MEC to intervene. He should send more police officers to monitor the area until stability and calm is restored. This will allow the clinic to reopen and provide essential services to the community. The PSA further calls for interventions from all leaders and government officials, to develop effective solutions towards protecting the clinic’s employees, as they serve vulnerable communities.”