Free State doctor survives shooting, robbery at hospital living quarters

front view of hospital building
Mofumahadi Manapo Mopeli Regional Hospital in QwaQwa

Medical staff at Manapo Hospital in Phuthaditjhaba in the Free State have called on the health department to increase security in and around the hospital. This comes after a newly hired doctor was shot and wounded inside the doctors’ living quarters during a robbery. 

Dr Tshabi Seeta, who previously survived a separate robbery, says security at the hospital needs beefing up. “We have been asking the hospital to hire more security officers. Each time something happens they claim to notify the province to put more officers but nothing happens,” he says. 

Seeta says patients are also not safe in the facility. 

“In 2022 a man came in with stab wounds, and he was further stabbed inside the ward. He was transferred to Bethlehem for his safety. Today a doctor survives death, this will cause many of us to want to relocate to other, safer hospitals,” Seeta says.

Free State MEC for Health, Mathabo Leeto says she is reeling with shock after “the unpleasant news of shooting of a 26 year old male doctor at Mofumahadi Manapo Mopeli Regional Hospital in QwaQwa on the evening of Tuesday, 21 May 2024 at about 8pm.”

Despite reports of unsafe living quarters within the hospital the MEC says that the area is secured.

“This is an unexpected violent burglary incident at the secured doctors’ quarters at the hospital precinct by unknown assailants, a doctor fell victim of this near fatal shooting,” says Leeto.

She says the doctor was rushed into theatre. None of his vital organs were affected. He is now recovering in the ICU. 

“The incident will be thoroughly investigated, so that we can take further steps to tighten security in our health facilities,” says Leeto. 

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Similar incidents in the country include the rape of a doctor at PeIonomi Tertiary Hospital in Mangaung in 2019, and the robbery of a doctor at Elizabeth Ross Hospital in Qwaqwa in 2022.

Police confirmed the incident at Manapo hospital. Warrant Officer Mmako Mophiring says they haven’t taken a statement from the victim.

“We were called to the Manapo Hospital last night, Tuesday 21 May, and we found an African male doctor already taken to theatre. We were told he was shot by an unknown person. We will take his statement once he is able to cooperate after he is discharged,” Mophiring says.

Tseko Mokoa, a patient at the hospital, says it is also not safe for them as patients.

“You’ll find people just loitering in the corridors of the hospital, even after visiting hours. It is easy to enter the hospital gates. Security officers don’t search people at the gate,” he says. – Health-e News 


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