Late last year two day hospitals in the township of Guguletu in Cape Town were forced to close because on-duty doctors and nursing personnel repeatedly fell prey to brazen criminals who robbed them of cell phones, money, jewellery and other valuables. The criminals, who seem to have gained easy access to premises, also targeted regular patients. Western Cape Minister of Community Safety, Leonard Ramatlakane has now called on the beleaguered communities of Guguletu and Khayelitsha to work with the police to make these areas safer. He said security at the day hospitals need to be stepped up and that security personnel, who are employed by the Provincial Department of Health, needed to be more vigilant as police can only act if they are called out.
Thandeka Teyise of Health-e News spoke to Minister Ramatlakane, Ntombomzi Macingwana, a local member of parliament for the African National Congress and Bongani Maqungwana a United Democratic Movement member of the Safety and Security Desk in the Western Cape who all agreed that there is an urgent need for co-operation between the health sector, police and the community. Repeated attempts to gain comment from the Western Cape Provincial Department of Health were unsuccessful.
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